Food contact materials: updating the science for safety assessments – public consultation

EFSA’s experts have reviewed recent scientific developments that could be taken into account when considering an update of EU guidelines for the safety assessment of substances used in food contact materials. The Authority calls on European and national risk assessors and risk managers as well as stakeholders and the scientific community, to provide feedback on the issues posed in this draft scientific opinion.

The proposed opinion outlines new scientific considerations that could help to refine the evaluation of consumer risks from exposure to food contact materials and to afford a higher level of protection, in particular for infants and toddlers.

The draft provides the European Commission with the scientific basis for a discussion amongst risk managers on possible implications for risk management. The Commission will then advise EFSA on the possible levels of protection for consumers to be considered in the next step in this process, i.e. an EFSA guidance document on revised data requirements for future food contact material applications.

Specifically, the draft discusses and proposes:

  • improved estimations of consumer exposure to these substances based on food consumption surveys and food group categories
  • modern approaches such as modelling for estimating migration of the residues of these materials into food
  • improved toxicity testing strategies, related tiered approaches and data requirements
  • considerations of non-testing methods for the safety evaluation of non-intentionally added substances (such as impurities and so-called ‘degradation products’).

At EFSA’s recent Food Ingredients and Packaging Network meeting, the Authority shared the draft with national experts from EU Member States. All stakeholders and interested parties are invited to submit their comments online by 7 October 2015.


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