On October 11, 2013 the European Commission’s (EC) Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG Sanco) met representatives from industry, member states and the Food Packaging Forum to discuss current issues regarding food contact materials (FCMs). At the meeting a new Council of Europe (CoE) database of FCMs and a web application facilitating the issuing of Declarations of Compliance (DoCs) were presented. Further, final editions to the Plastic Guidelines and the Guidelines Information in the Supply Chain were discussed.
The new CoE list of food contact substances shall be a comprehensive database of substances used in FCMs as well as data on toxicology from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) scientific opinions, the quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) tool Derek and ToxTree, which provides information on chemicals’ structural classes (Cramer classes). The inclusion of various existing union lists such as Annex I of EC 10/2011, the ESCO working group list and numerous lists of resolutions of the CoE is almost completed. The upcoming database will be updated regularly with newly available information and may be used in combination with exposure data from the “Flavorings, Additives and Food Contact Materials Exposure Task” (FACET) EU research project . Access to the database will be free for member states; industry will pay subscription fees to access the database. The Belgian representative stressed that low risk results from the database are not an authorization of the use of a substance in plastic FCM. The database will be published by the end of 2013.
The new web application “Easy DoC” will allow manufacturers to receive product specific instructions for the issuing of DoCs. The new tool was designed by Ireland and will be published in October 2013. Further, the Plastic Guidelines for migration testing and the Guidelines “Information in the Supply Chain” were finalized during the meeting. In support of the Guidelines “Information in the Supply Chain” Spain presented a flow chart clarifying who is required to provide DoCs to whom. The flowchart is to be discussed at the next meeting. Both guidelines will be presented for endorsement to the food safety standing committee after a final legal revision.