In an article published on November 29, 2016 the non-profit organization Foodwatch informed that six French retailers declared to no longer accept mineral oil residues in their own-brand food products. The retailers E.Leclerc, Carrefour, Lidl, Intermarché, Casino, and Système U announced that their own-brand products must be free from mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH) and mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) may not exceed a limit value of 2 mg/kg. According to Foodwatch, retailer E.Leclerc also intends to impose these rules on manufacturers of other brands sold in its stores.
Foodwatch further informed that thus far only three German retailers (Aldi Süd, Lidl, and Kaufland) require compliance with specific limit values for mineral oil residues in food. Other German retailers have strategies in place to reduce mineral oil contamination of food, but impose no clear limit values.
Foodwatch calls for a regulation on mineral oils, requiring a mandatory functional barrier in paper and board packaging. The use of inner bags or coating of the packaging shall limit mineral oil migration from the packaging into the food. In addition, Foodwatch calls for legally binding limit values for mineral oil residues in food. For MOAH, which are potentially carcinogenic and mutagenic, Foodwatch recommends a zero-tolerance policy. This shall ensure that mineral oil contamination from sources other than the packaging, e.g. production and transport processes, is limited.
Foodwatch (November 29, 2016). “Frankreichs Supermärkte verbannen Mineralöl aus Lebensmitteln.” (in German)
Foodwatch (November 29, 2016). “Aliments aux hydrocarbures : des distributeurs s’engagent, le gouvernement traîne.” (in French)
Foodwatch (November 29, 2016). “Contamination par des hydrocarbures : les marques qui s’engagent et celles esquivent.” (in French)
Foodwatch (December 2, 2016). “Succes! Franse supermarkten verbannen gevaarlijke minerale oliën uit voeding.” (in Dutch)