Food legislation and food safety - June 2019

27 June 2019

FCM regulations around the world
China: Food Packaging Forum reports that a draft standard (in Chinese) for adhesives used in FCM has been published. A public consultation is open until 20 July 2019. EU: The EC has announced that the Council has formally adopted a new Regulation on the transparency and sustainability of the EU risk assessment in the food chain. This new Regulation covers the review of the General Food Law Regulation and the amendment of 8 legislative acts dealing with specific sectors of the food chain, including food contact materials. More information can be found here. SGS reports that Commission Recommendation (EU) 2019/794 on a coordinated control plan with a view to establishing the prevalence of certain substances migrating from FCMs has been published in the OJ. This document introduces the strategy to strengthen market surveillance activities for various substances and many types of FCM in the coming months. US: In a press release Congresswoman Dingell announces the introduction of legislation (37 kB) to ban the use of toxic perfluorinated compounds (PFAS) in food containers and cookware. Meanwhile the FDA has issued a statement on FDA’s scientific work to understand PFAS in food, and findings from recent FDA surveys.

Food safety
In April, ILSI NA held the 2019 Food Packaging Conference: Scientific Advances and Challenges in Safety Evaluation of Food Packaging Materials. Video recordings of most talks are now publicly available. In August 2018, the BRC released the Global Standard for Food Safety Issue 8. Recently Intertek published a whitepaper detailing the changes. You can download the whitepaper after filling in your details.
In December 2018 the UN General Assembly decided to designate 7 June as World Food Safety Day (WFSD). The theme of the first WFSD was Food Safety, Everyone’s Business. EFSA used the opportunity to release a new Eurobarometer survey on EU consumers and food safety.
Wageningen University & Research has announced that Wageningen Food Safety Research (WFSR) began work on 1 June 2019. WFSR is the new institute for food safety in the Netherlands.

Seven EU consumer organisations, have started a the citizens’ initiative ‘Pro-Nutriscore’, asking the European Commission to impose ‘Nutriscore’ labelling on food products.
spiritsEUROPE, the trade association representing the producers of spirit drinks in Europe has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in which the sector commits to provide energy information on label together with full ingredient listing and detailed product-specific information online.

New EFSA tools and guidelines
The exceedance of a legal limit, i.e. ‘non-compliance’ with a regulatory framework (European or National) does not systematically trigger a RASFF notification. An evaluation on the level of risk is necessary to decide if a notification should be issued. EFSA has published the “Rapid Assessment of Contaminant Exposure (RACE)” tool to facilitate the evaluation. EFSA has also published its “Guidance on the use of the Threshold of Toxicological Concern approach in food safety assessment.” In the document, EFSA confirms that the TTC is a pragmatic screening and prioritization tool for use in food safety assessment. The guidance follows the outcome of a public consultation on the draft guidance was published on the same day.

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