On December 21, 2016 the European Commission’s (EC) Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) published the summary of the latest meeting of its Technical Expert Group for Food Contact Materials (FCMs). The meeting took place on September 9, 2016 in Brussels, Belgium, and items on the agenda included migration testing guidelines, the 7th amendment to the plastic FCM regulation ((EU) No 10/2011), and the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Scientific Opinion on the safety assessment of FCMs (FPF reported).
The EC announced that the migration testing guidelines “would be published as soon as possible after internal procedures had been completed, including inter-service consultation and translation.”
Regarding the 7th amendment to the plastic FCM regulation, the interpretation of the regulation “with respect to Overall Migration (OM) testing in dry foods was discussed, in particular on whether derogation to such testing can be provided.” Also, the wording in point 8 (iii) of Annex IV was discussed. Further, the EC presented “a migration limit for nickel from plastic food contact materials of 0.02 mg/kg.”
The Plastics Consortium Group (PCG; including the Food Contact Additives Sector Group of the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic-FCA), European Plastics Converters (EuPC), Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE), and PlasticsEurope) presented its comments regarding the Risk Management Measures in the context of EFSA’s Scientific Opinion on the safety assessment of FCMs (FPF reported). The EC announced to “carry out a consultation on the guidelines, timeframe to be confirmed” and “urged industry technical experts to start considering relevant questions.”
Industry experts gave a presentation on migration guidelines for non-plastics FCMs. “This is a cross sector initiative to propose conditions for migration testing appropriate for each association’s products,” the meeting summary explains. Also, the European Printing Ink Association (EuPIA) presented its Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) policy for printing inks for FCMs which was recently updated and published on March 31, 2016.
The next meeting of the FCM expert group is scheduled for January 30, 2017 and agenda items include printed FCMs, plastic recycling, a draft of the 8th amendment to the plastic FCM regulation, information in the supply chain, and evaluation of FCMs. For the previous meeting of the expert group that was held on April 20, 2016 (FPF reported), no meeting summary is available yet.
Technical Expert Group for Food Contact Materials (December 21, 2016). “Summary – Meeting 9 September 2016.”