On November 6, 2017, the European Parliament’s (EP) Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI Committee) held a meeting to exchange views with the European Commission (EC) on food contact materials (FCMs). Sabine Jülicher from the EC’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) reported on the EC’s ongoing activities in the area of FCMs since the EP adopted its resolution on FCMs in October 2016 (FPF reported). Ms. Jülicher informed about the Joint Research Centre’s (JRC) baseline study on non-harmonized FCMs published in January 2017 (FPF reported), the evaluation of the EU framework regulation on FCMs ((EC) No 1935/2004) expected to start in 2018 (FPF reported), the EU measure on printed FCMs (FPF reported), the recommendation on mineral oils (FPF reported), the EU measure on bisphenol A (BPA CAS 80-05-7) (FPF reported), the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) reevaluation of the safety of BPA (FPF reported), and the JRC’s analytical work on ceramics (FPF reported). According to Ms. Jülicher, a draft roadmap for the evaluation of Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 will be published “very shortly,” and will be open for public consultation during a four-week period.

After the EC’s presentation, Members of the EP (MEPs) asked questions regarding the EC’s activities. In particular, MEPs Christel Schaldemose (Social Democrats) and Magarete Auken (Greens) wanted to know why currently public interest groups and consumer organizations are not involved in DG SANTE’s working group on FCMs. Ms. Jülicher responded that in the past there was a lack of interest from NGOs, but that they would be involved “when there are new developments.” The Food Packaging Forum (FPF) has been a member of DG SANTE’s working group in the past, and reported from working group meetings on its website, but membership has been restricted since 2015 (FPF reported). FPF’s request to regain membership has been declined since.

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European Parliament (November 6, 2017). “Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety – Meeting November 6, 2017.

Michael Warhurst (November 7, 2017). “The secretive (and ineffective) world of EU rules controlling chemicals used in food packaging.CHEM Trust

Vanessa Zainzinger (November 7, 2017). “European Commission to evaluate FCM legislation in 2018.Chemical Watch