On September 9, 2019, around 130 experts from civil society, EU Member States, the food contact manufacturing and food industry, consultants, and the European Commission as well as representatives from non-European countries gathered in Brussels, Belgium. The purpose of the full day meeting and second stakeholder event was to provide input to the ongoing review of European food contact materials (FCM) regulation. A previous, first stakeholder event was held in September 2018 (FPF reported). Meeting participants were invited to comment on the findings that were presented by the consultancy ecorys, which was tasked with the review. The draft report summarizing the findings was published on September 2, 2019 (FPF reported).

In four sessions, findings from the five different topics addressed during the review were first presented by the consultants and then discussed by meeting participants in a round table setting. The topics covered were effectiveness, efficiency, relevance and coherence, and EU added value of the European regulations addressing food contact materials. The discussion tables were arranged by stakeholder category, and rapporteurs from all tables were asked to summarize the discussions. Several areas of agreement surfaced, but it was also evident that different stakeholders have opposing views on certain issues. The need for broad stakeholder involvement in further discussions and possible regulatory revisions was stressed by several participants. Further, the benefits of harmonized FCM regulation were highlighted by most participants, implying the need for additional efforts to address the so far non-harmonized FCMs in specific measures and guidance documents. And, better integration of FCM regulation with environmental measures that target reduction of packaging waste and increasing recycling was identified as being of high importance, to better protect human health from exposures to hazardous chemicals.

The presentations given by ecorys during the event have been published. Public comments on the findings can be sent to fcm@ecorys.com until September 16, 2019. The consultants stressed the need for submissions to include evidence that supports comments and opinions.

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European Commission Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG Sante) (September 2, 2019). “Evaluation of Food Contact Materials (FCMs).”