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EU Parliament sets strong signal on FCMs

On 6 October the European Parliament voted with a large majority on a Report about Food Contact Materials (FCM) initiated by the Parliament in order to give their opinion to the Commission on how EU laws on all materials that come into contact with food, from farm to home, are being implemented.

The European Parliament (EP) report follows parliamentary events between 2015 and spring 2016 where companies, public interest groups, regulators and scientists discussed FCMs regulation; a stakeholder survey conducted by the EP Research Service (EPRS) and a full Parliamentary plenary debate on 5 October. In its report, the EP makes a clear statement that “the current paradigm for evaluation of safety of FCMs is insufficient,” stating that the role of FCMs in chemical food contamination is underestimated and that there is a lack of information on human exposure to chemicals from FCMs.

During the plenary debate, several MEPs expressed concerns that consumers were not sufficiently protected from chemicals coming from FCMs into food, and that the lack of harmonised rules at EU level, but instead competing or absent Member State laws, means that the EU internal market is not functioning effectively or efficiently.

EP supports ban BPA in food contact materials
Most notable is that the EP voted to support a ban on Bisphenol A (BPA) from all types of food contact materials, showing their support for the French BPA prohibition law. This vote does not institute a legal ban, but gives a very clear signal to the EU Commission on BPA. HEAL welcomes this vote as the current EU laws are woefully inadequate to protect public health from toxic chemicals in FCM and because our position is that a ban on BPA will protect the health of European citizens and the environment. HEAL briefing is available here.

For more information on the vote and the report, see this article by the Food Packaging Forum (FPF).

Originally posted on 28 October 2016

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