At a recently held stakeholder meeting on food contact materials the EU Commission’s responsible office for food contact materials (FCMs) at the Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) announced its priorities for the coming year.

Included on this list is an impact assessment for the so-called non-harmonized FCMs, materials for which no EU wide legislation exists so far. Materials of interest are coatings, paper and board, adhesives, printing inks and rubber, amongst others. The impact assessment can be considered as first step towards new legislation. In a previously published external scientific report by EFSA, around 3000 chemicals were found to be used in these FCMs, alongside with a prioritization strategy for their risk assessment.

Another topic of interest are surface biocides used in FCMs. The new EU Biocides Regulation also covers FCMs and applies starting in September 2013. Current efforts at DG SANCO include an assessment of how the Biocides Regulation will affect current FCMs regulation.

A controversial issue on the agenda for 2013 is the French ban for bisphenol A. The EU Commission will need to evaluate France’s scientific reasoning for introducing the additional measures, based on EFSA’s new scientific opinion that is expected for May 2013.

Food Contact Materials at EU Commission’s DG SANCO

EFSA External Scientific Report on non-plastic food contact materials