In an article published on November 9, 2015 by the UK-based non-profit organization CHEM Trust, Michael Warhurst reports on the latest developments regarding the regulation and harmonization of food contact materials (FCMs) in the European Union. Firstly, Warhurst informs that the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety has launched an investigation on the “Implementation of the Food Contact Materials Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004.” Further, Warhurst reports on the Food Packaging Forum’s 2015 Workshop “Food packaging and chemical safety: What does the future hold?” which took place on October 8, 2015 in Zurich, Switzerland. He points out that the participating stakeholders from the packaging and food industry expressed discontent over the current situation of non-harmonized FCM regulation in the EU. Next, Warhurst informs about the conference on “Food Contact Materials: Working together for safety and innovation in Europe” which took place on September 30, 2015 in Luxemburg-City (FPF reported). Similarly, there was consensus among stakeholders that harmonization of FCM regulation at EU level is desired. However, the European Commission aims to improve mutual recognition rather than push for more harmonization. Subsequently, Warhurst notes that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) held a public consultation on its draft scientific opinion on “recent developments in the risk assessment of chemicals in food and their potential impact on the safety assessment of substances used in food contact materials” (FPF reported). CHEM Trust and the Food Packaging Forum have submitted comments on the draft opinion expressing concern over EFSA’s insufficient attention to non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) and using unsuitable methods such as the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) (FPF reported). Finally, Warhurst mentions the recent success of retailer Coop Denmark at providing microwave oven popcorn containing no fluorinated chemicals in the linings of the popcorn bags (FPF reported).

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Michael Warhurst (November 9, 2015). “EU Parliament starts inquiry into regulation of chemicals in food packaging as concerns mount.CHEM Trust

Chemical Watch (November 12, 2015). “EU Parliament starts inquiry into regulation of FCMs.