Scientists use in silico-based models to prioritize food contact chemicals

Two studies applied computational methods to screen food contact chemicals (FCCs) for carcinogenic properties or interaction with 31 nuclear receptors; one identifies 44 potential carcinogens among 1623 assessed FCCs; other finds more than half of 8091 screened FCCs with high binding affinity for several nuclear receptors

EU Member States endorse 8th Environmental Action Program

Council of the EU announces member states endorsement of recently completed negotiations on the 8th Environmental Action Program (EAP); EAP will guide EU climate and environmental policy until 2030; priority objectives include decreasing the EU’s material and consumption footprints

EFSA publishes guidance on chemical grouping for risk assessments

Final version of European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) guidance prioritizes hazard-driven criteria for grouping chemicals; supports human health risk assessments of combined chemical exposures; recommends relying on mechanistic information on toxicity within a weight-of-evidence approach

US EPA updates protocol for TSCA systematic review

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) publishes updated draft protocol to select scientific studies used within Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) risk evaluations; replaces 2018 approach and open for public comment; public peer review meeting set for April 19-21, 2022

ECHA webinar outlines assessments of chemical groups

Recorded webinar from European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) presents the agency’s work on assessing regulatory needs of groups of chemicals; provides overview of recently published reports

Canada continues single-use plastics ban, England considers similar action

Canada moves forward with domestic ban of six single-use plastic products; targets checkout bags, cutlery, foodservice ware, ring carriers, stir sticks, and straws; ban may come into force before end of 2022; public consultation until March 5, 2022; England considering similar ban with consultation until February 12, 2022

How does the food and beverage sector address plastic pollution?

Scientists review 68 corporate sustainability reports of major food and beverage companies on plastic pollution and packaging; find most reports do not address plastic pollution and focus on end-of-life options instead of sustainable packaging solutions

Court confirms BPA classification as a substance of very high concern

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and ClientEarth win appeal case brought by lobby group PlasticsEurope; EU Court of Justice confirms ECHA listing of bisphenol A (BPA) as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) due to its endocrine-disrupting properties for humans; PlasticsEurope cannot appeal again

Reviews discuss health hazards of plastics including PFAS

Medical professionals elaborate on health hazards connected with plastic production, use, and waste; give options to reduce impacts on humans and the planet; scientists summarize current knowledge on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) occurrence and migration from food packaging and microplastics

Pre-consumer and recycled plastic pellets contain hazardous substances

International Pollution Elimination Network and partners publish two studies investigating toxic substances in plastic pellets; virgin plastic pellets recovered from beaches on six continents all contain polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and endocrine-disrupting UV stabilizers; over half of the samples of recycled high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pellets contain at least 11 out of 18 flame retardants and UV stabilizers assessed