On April 26, 2016 the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) published a draft report on the implementation of the food contact materials (FCMs) Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004. Christel Schaldemose, Danish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and member of the Social Democrat fraction, served as a rapporteur.
In the draft report, the European Commission (EC) is asked to focus on further harmonization in the area of FCMs. In particular, paper and board (including recycled paper and board), as well as coatings, inks, and adhesives, are highlighted as priority materials for which regulation at EU level is urgently needed. Specific actions may be initiated following the soon-awaited release of the ongoing study by the EC’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) on the national regulations for non-harmonized FCMs across the EU (FPF reported).
The draft report further highlights shortcomings in the implementation and enforcement of already existing specific FCM legislation. Specific actions to improve risk assessment, traceability, enforcement, and compliance control are suggested. In particular, an increase in the funding for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is suggested, so that risk assessments can be carried out faster and for more substances. Testing methods and safety standards should be applied uniformly by all the different risk assessors such as EFSA, businesses, or national laboratories, at least for harmonized FCMs. To facilitate the safety assessment of all potential migrants, including the non-intentionally added substances (NIAS), it should be ensured that EFSA receives the most complete information on the evaluated FCM.
The EP further notes that the ‘cocktail effect,’ as well as multiple exposures from different sources, are currently not sufficiently being taken into account in risk assessments carried out by EFSA. In the future, these considerations should be incorporated into risk assessment frameworks, including the procedures for determination of specific migration limits.
To facilitate proper controls, the traceability of FCMs should be ensured across the supply chain, and the accuracy and completeness of ‘Declarations of Compliance’ (DoCs) for harmonized FCMs should be monitored and enforced uniformly. Furthermore, it should be ensured that the necessary controls are carried out with similar intensity by all Member States.
The deadline for tabling amendments to the draft report is June 2, 2016, and the vote in the ENVI Committee is scheduled for mid-July.
Vanessa Zainzinger (May 5, 2016). “Environment committee to consider call for greater regulation of FCMs.” Chemical Watch
ENVI Committee (April 26, 2016). “Draft report on the implementation of the food contact materials Regulation (Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004).”