On March 30, 2017 the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF Panel) published the latest update of the meeting minutes of its Working Group on Food Contact Materials (WG-FCM). The 21st meeting of the WG-FCM was held on March 7-9, 2017 in Parma, Italy.

During the meeting, the WG-FCM discussed the application dossiers received for the following substances to be used as additives in FCMs: Isobutane (CAS 75-28-5), intended for plastic FMCs, and reaction product of stearyl-diethanol-amine with C18 saturated fatty acids (CAS not available). Regarding the first substance, the WG-FCM “identified issues for clarification” which it will discuss further at the next meeting. Regarding the second substance, the WG-FCM “requires additional information to complete the risk assessment.”

The WG-FCM also discussed the draft opinions on the substances dimethyl-1,2,3,4-tetrahydronaphthalene-2,6-dicarboxylate (CAS 23985-75-3), to be used as a monomer in plastic FCMs, and phosphorous acid, mixed 2,4-bis(1,1- dimethylpropyl)phenyl and 4-(1,1-dimethylpropyl)phenyl triesters (CAS not available), for which revision of the existing specific migration limit (SML) was requested. For both substances EFSA had requested and received additional information from the applicants. The revised draft opinions “will be scheduled for discussion and possible adoption by the CEF Panel,” the minutes read.

The WG-FCM was briefed about the 4th meeting of the Food Ingredients and Packaging (FIP) Scientific Network on food contact materials (FCMs) that focused on the safety assessment of coatings and was held on February 16, 2017 (FPF reported).

Regarding the implementation of EFSA’s uncertainty guidance in the field of FCMs, the WG-FCM particularly discussed “the uncertainties linked to the non-toxicity data of an FCM application.”

Further, the WG-FCM was informed about EFSA’s intention to revise the “Note for Guidance for FCM substances.” The WG-FCM was also informed that the European Commission (EC) requested “scientific technical assistance to the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) on chemical contaminants,” including substances migrating from FCMs. The EC asked EFSA to “evaluate and propose a methodology that would allow for a risk-based classification of RASFF notifications on chemical contaminants.”

The next meeting of the WG-FCM is scheduled to take place on May 16-18, 2017.

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CEF (March 30, 2017). “Minutes of the 21st meeting of the Working Group on Food Contact Materials 2014-2017.(pdf)