On October 5, 2016 the European Parliament (EP) debated the Report on the implementation of the Food Contact Materials Regulation ((EC) No 1935/2004) and voted in favor of it on October 6, 2016 (FPF reported). The report states that “the current paradigm for evaluation of safety of FCMs is insufficient” and calls on the European Commission (EC) “to revise the current regulatory framework” in order to “better achieve its objectives, which are to safeguard and protect consumer health and ensure the effective functioning of the internal market.”
The European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) welcomes the EP’s report, pointing out the synergies between the EU Framework Regulation on FCMs and the circular economy. FEVE notes that “higher recycling rates for all packaging materials . . . can pose a safety challenge for food contact materials.” Therefore, “a robust and harmonized assessment of the inherent migration properties of all recycled materials in contact with food is essential for consumers to fully back the principles of the circular economy,” FEVE states.
The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI), the International Confederation of Paper and Board Converters in Europe (CITPA), and the European Federation of Corrugated Board Manufacturers (FEFCO) also express their approval of the EP’s report in a joint press release. The industry associations particularly support “the strong call by the Parliament to develop a measure specific to the paper and board materials.” The associations highlight that “the paper industry has always prioritized consumer safety and has set world-class standards for producing safe packaging materials.” However, “it cannot replace the role of the legislator in setting a level playing field and European-wide levels for safety.”
Michael Warhurst of non-profit organization CHEM Trust also welcomes “this strong statement from the European Parliament” as he deems it “not acceptable to have such inadequate safety regulations on the use of chemicals in everyday food contact materials like food packaging.” In particular, CHEM Trusts supports “the Parliament’s strong statement on the need to get the endocrine disrupting chemical bisphenol A [(BPA, CAS 80-05-7)] out of all food contact applications.”
The non-profit organization Foodwatch is pleased that the EP shares the organization’s concern about chemicals in food packaging and food, and particularly welcomes the anticipated stricter rules for paper and board packaging. Foodwatch launched an email petition in October 2015 calling for action against mineral oil residues in food (FPF reported). Suspected sources of mineral oil contamination in food are primary and secondary paper and board packaging – in particular packaging made from recycled materials.
FEVE (October 6, 2016). “Circular but safe – boosting recycling yes – but not at expense of consumer safety.”
CEPI (October 6, 2016). “The European paper industry welcomes the European Parliament’s call for new measures on food packaging.”
Michael Warhurst (October 6, 2016). “Laws regulating chemicals in food packaging are not good enough, European Parliament says.” CHEM Trust
Foodwatch (October 6, 2016). “Meerderheid Europarlement wil veiliger verpakkingen.” (in Dutch)
ENVI Committee (July 18, 2016). “Report on the implementation of the Food Contact Materials Regulation ((EC) No 1935/2004).” European Parliament