Food legislation and food safety - October 2018
Stakeholder Workshop on the Evaluation of Food Contact Materials Legislation
On 24 September 2018, the first stakeholder workshop on the European Commission’s evaluation of the EU legislation on food contact materials (FCMs) was held in Brussels, Belgium. All presentations, as well as the agenda and a video recording, are available on the website of the European Commission. Starting point for this evaluation was a roadmap published in November 2017 to inform citizens and stakeholders about the Commission's plans and to allow them to provide feedback on the intended initiative and to participate effectively in future consultation activities.
EU authorisation of PET recycling for FCMs coming soon
Several news items have been pointing to the fact that the European Commission is pushing towards the authorisation of the recycling processes that have been evaluated by EFSA as part of Commission Regulation (EC) No 282/2008 on recycled plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foods (Consolidated version of 26 October 2015). It has been mentioned by Food Packaging Forum in an article that referenced a news item by EURACTIV. The matter has also been mentioned in the minutes of the 6th meeting of the ‘EFSA FCM Network’ (364 kB), which was held on 10-11 July 2018 in Parma, Italy.
All the recycling processes that have been evaluated by EFSA, including some processes that are still being evaluated, can be found in the EFSA Register of Questions. This list contains many more questions than the ones involving recycling processes for food contact material applications. You can filter out the recycling processes by choosing ‘recycling’ as keyword and limiting the search to Food Sector Area ‘Food contact materials’.
Testing Food Contact Materials
An article that was published in Science of The Total Environment gives an overview of known plastic packaging-associated chemicals and their hazards. An abstract is provided on the Elsevier website, but you can download the full Accepted Manuscript (2.68 MB) as well.
A recent test by the Norwegian Consumer Council shows that many of the reusable water bottles leach phthalates, bisphenol A, lead and other dangerous chemicals into the contents – albeit at very small amounts.
On 3 September 2018, EFSA shared an update on Bisphenol A (BPA). A new EFSA working group of scientific experts has started evaluating recent toxicological data on the food contact material bisphenol A (BPA) this September. EFSA’s Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids (CEP) will re-assess the potential hazards of BPA in food and review the temporary safe level set in EFSA’s previous full risk assessment from 2015. This new assessment should be ready by 2020.
Consumer product quality: Parliament takes aim at dual standards
On 13 September 2018, the European Parliament published a press release about dual standards in consumer product quality. It states that “Various tests and surveys done in several EU member states, mainly in Central and Eastern Europe, have proven that products advertised and sold under the same brand and seemingly identical packaging in fact differ in composition and ingredients, to the detriment of consumers.” The European Parliament recommended several measures at EU and national levels to identify and tackle “dual quality” consumer products”.
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