No one should have to worry about the presence of health-harming chemicals in the products that come into contact with our food. There are thousands of chemicals in food contact materials that can potentially migrate into our food and drink.
At the moment, EU legislation on food contact materials does not sufficiently protect the health of citizens. In Europe alone, some 8,000 chemicals can be used in articles packaging our food. But only a handful of those materials – such as plastics and ceramics – are actually regulated at EU level. Other materials such as paper, cardboard, inks, coatings and adhesives, are not covered by specific EU regulation at all.
To close these existing loopholes, the European Commission announced in 2020 that it will revise EU laws on food contact materials. It kickstarted this process with the publication of an Inception Impact Assessment (IIA), describing the Commission’s interpretation of the problems that are weakening the current regulations on food contact materials. Stakeholders were invited to give feedback on the IIA via a public consultation, which closed at the end of January 2021.
Civil society groups across Europe, including members of the EDC-Free Europe campaign, took this opportunity to tell the EU Commission to develop a new regulatory framework to replace the current EU regulation on food contact materials.
Among those groups who gave feedback were:
- BEUC – The European Consumer Organisation
- Cantine sans plastique France
- CHEM Trust
- Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
- Food Packaging Forum
- Générations Futures
- Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL)
- Health Care Without Harm (HCWH)
- Health and Environment Justice Support (HEJSupport)
- Réseau Environnement Santé (RES)
- Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (SSNC)
- Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF)
- Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF) Germany
- ZERO – Association for the Sustainability of the Earth System
- Zero Waste Europe
To bring attention to the health and environmental risks linked with food contact materials, EDC-Free Europe campaign members CHEM Trust and the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) have joined up with Zero Waste Europe to launch the ‘Food for Thought’ newsletter. Sign up to this newsletter today to receive the latest news and useful resources on food contact materials right in your inbox, or read the first edition here!