Food legislation and food safety – November 2022

01 December 2022

Food Contact Materials (FCMs) – rules and regulations
Zero Waste Europe has published a briefing (1.69 MB) to provide businesses with a better understanding of the issues linked to hazardous chemicals in FCMs. It highlights opportunities to adopt circular economy practices using non-toxic and reusable materials. The 10th annual Food Packaging Forum (FPF) workshop “Taking stock of the past decade: What has changed and what’s to come?” took place on 6 October 2022. Recordings of the presentations are available online. China: Keller and Heckman reports that the CFSA is requesting comments on three new resins for use in FCMs. South Korea: SGS reports that the government has initiated a consultation period for its proposed revision to standards and specifications for FCMs. US: Keller and Heckman reports that the FDA has added seven new entries to its Inventory of Effective Food Contact Substances (FCS) Notifications. FDA reviews information on the safety of FCMs before their first use. As new information becomes available that suggests a substance may pose a health risk, FDA will occasionally re-evaluate it based on the new information. But FDA doesn't have specific authority to require companies to provide the information that the agency may need for such reviews. This is one of the conclusions of a report (1.95 MB) by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). GAO recommends that FDA requests this authority. SGS reports that Georgia has issued a Technical Regulation on plastic FCMs based on the EU plastic FCMs regulation. It will become effective on 1 January 2026.

Claims, marking and labelling in the Netherlands
To help consumers in their decision-making processes regarding sustainable food products, a clear and trustworthy certification label is needed, one that is also recognised in other countries. This is one of the conclusions of the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) in its Agro-Nutri Monitor 2022 (in Dutch, 3.89 MB). The report was sent (in Dutch) to the Dutch House on 20 October 2022.
The Ministry of General Affairs commissioned Motivaction to conduct research (in Dutch, 3.6 MB) on the perception of the Nutri-Score logo among the Dutch public.
According to research (in Dutch, 530 kB) by Panteia commissioned by Foodwatch (in Dutch), consumers are not always well protected from advertising (misleading or otherwise) for unhealthy foods.

Food Contact Materials (FCMs) – research
FPF reports on an AkzoNobel Packaging Coatings white paper (943 kB) outlining how BPA has been used in can coatings for the last few decades. The paper discusses alternatives, as well as case studies from regions and industries that have made the transition away from BPA.
FPF also reports on an article (abstract) in the Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, in which Fleurine Akoueson from ANSES and co-authors present a method to assess specific plastic additives in food packaging. Another article (abstract) in Science of the Total Environment with Akoueson as first author, analyses two PP and two PLA food packaging samples for their chemical composition and their in vitro toxicity.
A Queen’s University Belfast study (981 kB) published in Frontiers in Toxicology assesses bio-based plastic FCMs for migration of endocrine disrupting leachates.
UCD research on meat products found higher BPA migration levels from can packaging than from plastic packaging. An article (1.1 MB) is published in Science of The Total Environment.

PFAS found in pet food packaging
EWG commissioned an independent, certified laboratory to conduct tests for PFAS on 11 bags of pet food from seven brands. The packaging of some of the brands had detectable levels of specific PFAS.

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