On February 17, 2017 the European Commission’s (EC) Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) published the summary of the latest meeting of the Working Group on food contact materials (FCMs) of the toxicological safety section of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food And Feed (SC-PAFF). The meeting was held on January 30, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium.

The EC informed about DG SANTE’s ex-post evaluation of the FCM framework regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 (FPF reported). The project will produce “a staff working document identifying the need for follow-up activities.”

In January 2017 DG SANTE launched a survey to better understand potential problems regarding the exchange of compliance information in the supply chain (FPF reported). The EC reminded Member States (MS) that “wide participation in this survey is very important.”

Regarding the Union Measure on printed FCMs, the EC explained that it will be drafted in three phases. The first phase will focus on “the identification of elements from which the new measure will be developed.” The second phase will examine the effectiveness and efficiency of these elements regarding compliance and enforceability. In the third phase the legislation will be drafted.

The EC reported that it is currently preparing approximately 120 decisions on individual plastic recycling processes, for which the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published scientific opinions. The working group discussed the structure of the text, “as well as particular matters that need to be resolved before the decisions can be adopted.”

In January 2016 the EC published Recommendation (EU) 2017/84 on the monitoring of mineral oils in food and FCMs (FPF reported). The EC informed that the EU Reference Laboratory for food contact materials (EURL-FCM) “will support the drafting of a guideline covering sampling and analytical aspects . . . to ensure uniform application of the recommendation.” MS will also be involved in the development of the guideline to make sure that it suits their needs. The EC noted that “the project is not only intended to gather occurrence data on mineral oils, but also to help build enforcement capacity for the case limits need to be established.”

The working group further discussed whether the substance ‘LiquidSeal’ is a FCM or a food additive. The question could not be conclusively answered because full technical information was not available.

Belgium informed that its parliament has requested further information in bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) and bisphenol S (BPS, CAS 80-09-1). This may result in a national measure on both substances.

The EC noted that the 8th amendment to the plastic FCM regulation (EU) No 10/2011 could not yet be discussed and this item was thus removed from the meeting agenda.

Read more

Working Group on food contact materials of the toxicological safety section of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SC-PAFF) (February 17, 2017). “Summary – Meeting 30 January 2017.(pdf)

DG SANTE (January 30, 2017). “WG food contact materials – Monday 30 January 2017.(pdf)