On April 4, 2019, the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes and Processing Aids (CEP Panel) published the minutes of the fourth meeting of its Working Group on Food Contact Materials (WG-FCM). The meeting was held on March 12-14, 2019 in Parma, Italy.

The WG-FCM discussed draft opinions on “phosphorous acid, triphenyl ester, polymer with alpha-hydro-omega-hydroxypoly[oxy(methyl1-1,2-ethanediyl)], C10-16 alkyl esters (EFSA-Q-2018-00411),” “titanium dioxide treated with fluoride modified aluminia (EFSA-Q-2014-00300),” and “reaction product of stearyl-diethanol-amine with C18 saturated fatty acids (additive) – Safobog (EFSA-Q-2016-00510).” The revised draft opinions for the two former substances will now “be scheduled for discussion and possible adoption by the CEP Panel.” For the third substance, the WG-FCM “requires clarification of the additional information provided in order to complete the risk assessment, possibly through a technical hearing.”

Further, the WG-FCM worked on two mandates that EFSA has received from the European Commission in 2019. The first mandate requests to “review whether the authorization of untreated wood flour and fibres (FCM No 96) is still in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 (EFSA-Q-2019-00089).” Currently, this material is “authorized based on its inertness as an additive” for food contact plastics, as listed Annex I of the Regulation (EU) No 10/2011. The WG-FCM has now “started to identify possible criteria, not yet set out in the FCM Note for Guidance, for assessing the safety and support the use of wood and of similar materials from a plant origin, as plastic additives (art. 9 of Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004).” The second question deals with the “prioritization of substances without a specific migration limit (SML) [in the Annex I of Regulation (EC) No 10/2011] (EFSA-Q-2019-00150),” for “future risk assessment purposes.” Here, the WG-FCM “discussed the criteria and tools that may be used in order to place the substances under low, medium and high priority groups.”

In addition, the WG-FCM “continued exchanging views on the evaluation of the legislative framework (Regulation (EU) No 1935/2004) on food contact materials.”

The next meeting will take place on May 7-8, 2019.

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EFSA CEP Panel (April 4, 2019). “Minutes of the 4th meeting of the working group on food contact materials 2018-2021.(pdf)