Is Food Packaging a Blind Spot in Chemical Regulation?

Health & Environment

Think all materials which come into contact with food are tightly regulated? Think again. [Click here to download print-friendly PDF]

Coffee - Dennis Tang - Flickr - w900 - edited

EU food packaging
laws: mind the gap

Food contact materials in the EU are not regulated under the REACH chemical laws but instead by legislation which came into force in November 2004, governing “materials and articles intended to come into contact with food”.

According to this law, Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004, no food contact materials shall “transfer their constituents to food in quantities which could … endanger human health”. To ensure this, the legislation defined a process that could lead to comprehensive EU regulation of the 17 different food contact materials (FCMs), including positive lists of chemicals which are allowed to be used in FCMs, and limits on impurities.

So far, however, the EU has only finalised regulation of six of the total of 17 groups of…

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