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European Commission Opens Public Consultation on the Evaluation of FCMs

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The European Commission (EC) has launched a public consultation on the evaluation of food-contact materials (FCMs) as part of its evaluation of European Union legislation on food-contact materials. (For more information on the overall evaluation, see the article, European Commission Launches Webpage on the Evaluation of FCMs.)

The purpose of the public consultation is to assess if, and to what extent, the current EU legislative framework for FCMs accomplishes its intended purpose, and to identify any unexpected issues with the current legislation. The public consultation announcement includes a link to an online questionnaire that includes questions for both consumers and stakeholders. Comments are due by May 6, 2019. Prior registration on the EU Survey platform is required to fill in the questionnaire. 

The questions for consumers are intended to assess both their opinions on the safety of different types of food-contact materials and their understanding of symbols and instructions on food-contact materials, such as storage containers, plastic wrap, and food bags. There is also a question on whether they would find it helpful to see information on the composition of a food-contact material, for instance via labelling on the packaging.

There are more extensive questions for stakeholders. These include questions about the effectiveness of current legislation, such as the Framework Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004; the GMP Regulation (EC) No. 2023/2006; and the Plastics Regulation (EU) No. 10/2011. Other questions for stakeholders concern the safety of FCMs not subject to specific EU measures; whether FCMs can be marketed throughout the EU without hindrance; and possible gaps or inconsistencies within EU FCM legislation. There are also questions about non-compliance with current FCM legislation.

The responses to the questionnaire, along with other information gathered during the evaluation, will assist the EC in determining which, if any, possible steps need to be taken in the future concerning the regulation of FCMs in the EU. Once the evaluation of the FCM legislation is completed, a synopsis report of all consultation activities will be published.