On January 23, 2015 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a feature story focusing on the first meeting of the recently established Food Ingredients and Packaging (FIP) Network. The expert network met in November 2014 (FPF reported) to discuss non-plastics food contact materials (FCMs) not yet regulated at European level. The participating experts highly appreciated the opportunity to network and learn about recent national developments including completed, ongoing and future research projects. There is a broad range of substances used in non-plastic FCMs, however, scientific information is lacking for many of them. For most countries the only sustainable answer is to work together, as emphasized by the representatives of the Czech and Dutch public health authorities. In the past, the Council of Europe’s committee of experts provided lists of substances used, which then assisted national regulations and risk assessment for non-plastics FCMs including coatings, paper and board, printing inks, and metals and alloys. In the EU, the Commission’s Roadmap is leading to concrete objectives e.g. impact assessments, establishing baselines and potential policy options. However, many would favour a more harmonized EU approach. A follow-up meeting is already planned in the first half of 2015 with the goal of providing an overview of risk assessment practices in each EU Member State.

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EFSA (January 23, 2015). “Bridging the knowledge gap on non-plastic food contact materials.