Food legislation and food safety – September 2020

28 September 2020

Regulations in Europe
EU: The EU has published the 15th amendment to Regulation (EU) 10/2011 on plastic FCMs. SGS gives a summary of the changes. The EC has published an updated summary (617 kB) of discussions of the Expert Working Group on FCMs concerning plastic FCMs containing bamboo or other similar constituents. The EC has published the final report supporting the ongoing evaluation of FCM legislation. A new NVWA handbook (in Dutch) looks at the rules on food for infants, young children, sick people and overweight people. Germany: Draft regulations have been sent to the EC obligating the use of a functional barrier in FCMs made of waste paper to prevent the transfer of mineral oils. The government has announced (in German) that the Federal Cabinet approved the ordinance introducing the Nutri-Score.

US: PFAS in food packaging
The FDA has announced that the manufacturers of certain PFAS used for grease-proofing in paper and paperboard for food packaging have voluntarily agreed to phase-out these substances in the US. Senator Brad Hoylman has announced the passing of bill S8817/A4739C to ban the use of PFAS in food packaging in New York as of 31 December 2022. A study, recently published by Safer Chemicals Healthy Families (SCHF), found PFAS in US fast food restaurant packaging. The study was carried out by the Mind the Store campaign and Toxic-Free Future. To help retailers ensure that all PFAS are removed from food packaging, SCHF also published a guide for grocery stores (429 kB) and a guide for quick-service restaurants (481 kB).

More regulations outside of Europe
Australia: The government has published information on categorising chemicals for FCMs. China: Keller and Heckman reports that the government has approved 3 new FCMs and 8 new resins and approved expanded use for 5 FCMs. Gulf countries: FPF reports that GCC has released a draft standard to align its standards for PE bags for food packaging with those in the EU. Japan: Keller and Heckman reports that Japan has published draft revisions of the positive list for food-contact resins. Mercosur: SGS reports that in July 2020, the WTO circulated two notifications about the revision of two technical regulations on plastic FCMs; draft Resolution No. 02/20 and No. 03/20. US: FPF reports that the State of Washington has submitted a list of 11 priority products (including bisphenols in food and drink can linings) in a report to the Legislature under its safer products program. Keller and Heckman reports that the FDA recently added five new substances to its Inventory of Effective Food Contact Substances (FCS) Notifications.

Making healthy choices
According to a Tufts University study, whole grain labels on cereal, bread, and crackers are confusing to consumers and could cause them to make fewer healthy choices. An article (abstract) about the research is published in Public Health Nutrition. In a new report (in Dutch, 432 kB) UNICEF (in Dutch) concludes that 70% of the children's products in NL supermarkets do not fit into a healthy diet. Also, child marketing is used in a quarter of these products. According to the consumer association Consumentenbond (in Dutch), the NL government should take serious steps to stop misleading packaging claims.

High BPA levels linked to greater risk of death
University of Iowa research, published (695 kB) in JAMA, found high BPA levels linked to 49% greater risk of death within 10 years.

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