Food legislation and food safety – September 2023

03 October 2023

Food Contact Materials (FCMs) – rules and regulations
: GKV has published the second edition of their guidelines (1.72 MB) on rules for plastic recyclates in contact with food.
EFSA has published an update of the risk assessment of mineral oil hydrocarbons in food.
Japan: Keller and Heckman reports that the Positive List of synthetic resins for containers and packaging is expected to be fully implemented from 1 June 2025.
US: Keller and Heckman reports that the FDA has added five new entries to its Inventory of Effective Food Contact Substances (FCS) Notifications.

Claims, marking and labelling
EU: The EP has published a report (1.72 MB) assessing the implementation and application of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006 on health claims made on foods.
The rules on the labelling of organic pet food are being updated to align them with the rules on the labelling of organic food for human consumption. Recently the EP published an overview of the procedure so far and a legislative resolution (169 kB).
France: A draft decree restricting the use of animal designations for non-meat products has been sent to the EC. The decree would repeal Decree No 2022-947 of 29 June 2022 (in French).
NL: As of 1 January 2024, Nutri-Score will be the food choice logo in the Netherlands. Food producers can choose whether to use the logo on packaging. The Ministry of Health recently launched a website (in Dutch) with more information about Nutri-Score, how to register brand(s) and what the rules are for use.

Research on FCMs
Taylor & Francis reports on a new study concluding that paper drinking straws contain PFAS. The researchers at the University of Antwerp tested 39 brands of straws. They found PFAS in the majority of the straws tested and they were most common in those made from paper and bamboo. The study (1.87 MB) is published in Food Additives and Contaminants.
In a study (1.33 MB) published in Chemosphere, University of Queensland researchers tested 79 multilayer plastic baby food pouches for chemical migration. Four bisphenols and five phthalic acid diesters (PAEs) were detected, including the ones known for their endocrine disrupting effect in humans. Three intentionally added and 23 non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) were also tentatively identified.

Research on labelling
Misunderstanding of expiry date marking (Use-by or Best-before) has been identified as one of the causes of food waste at the household level. A recent study (4.93 MB) by WUR, demonstrates that providing extra information about best-before dates (“Often good after date. Look, smell & taste”) and use-by dates (“Do not use after date”) on product packages has a positive effect on consumers’ intentions to use or discard food that has passed the expiration date.
A mandatory front-of-package nutrition label (FOPL) for foods high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat is in place in Canada as of 1 January 2026. A University of Toronto study (3.32 MB) published in Frontiers in Nutrition shows that expected consumer behaviour changes in response to the impending FOPL policy will improve Canadians dietary intakes.

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