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Report of ESCO WG on non-plastic Food Contact Materials

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The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as authors. In accordance with Article 36 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, this task has been carried out exclusively by the authors in the context of a grant agreement between the European Food Safety Authority and the authors. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the European Food Safety Authority is subject. It may not be considered as an output adopted by EFSA. EFSA reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issues addressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.


An EFSA Scientific Cooperation (ESCO) Working Group was set up in February 2010 in order to collect the information present at Member State level and make proposals to anticipate emergency situations linked to presence in food of substances released by non-plastic food contact materials and for which no harmonised risk assessment is available. An ESCO inventory list, containing 2800 entries used in the manufacture of paper and board, printing inks, coatings, rubber, colorants, wood and cork, has been established. The substances on this list were divided into two groups, according to the date of evaluation. 230 of these substances were evaluated following publication of the Scientific Committee of Food Guidelines for Food Contact Materials (1991). Strategies for prioritization of the evaluations of substances and for providing preliminary advice in case of urgent need were proposed. They include toxicity and exposure assessment tools. For toxicity assessment, read-across approaches from structural similar substances can be used whenever possible. Alternatively an approach based on human exposure thresholds correlated to the chemical structure of the molecule can be used. A network of experts to be mobilised in case of urgent advice has been set up.