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The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published Guidance on the use of the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) approach in food safety assessment. This approach can be used when there is limited chemical-specific toxicity data available but where the chemical structure of the substance is known and where exposure can be estimated. EFSA’s guidance provides step-by-step instructions on how to use the TTC approach.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has launched a public consultation on its draft risk assessment of five phthalates.

The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) has requested input from interested parties on products that can replace per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in food packaging, particularly those that provide oil and grease resistance. The information is being gathered as part of an alternatives assessment (AA) required by Washington’s Toxics in Packaging Law (RCW 70.95G).

 The Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) published an alternatives assessment (AA) project summary for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) on November 6, 2018 (available here). The assessment is required by legislation concerning the use of perfluorinated chemicals in food packaging, HB 2658, that was signed into law by the governor on March 21, 2018.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it is amending the food additive regulations to no longer permit the use of styrene as a synthetic flavoring substance and adjuvant in food because that use has been permanently abandoned by industry. FDA took this action in response to a food additive petition (FAP) submitted by the Styrene Information and Research Center (SIRC).

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has proposed to add 4,4'-isopropylidenediphenol (bisphenol A, BPA) and 2-ethylhexyl 10-ethyl-4,4-dioctyl-7-oxo-8-oxa-3,5-dithia-4-stannatetradecanoate (DOTE) along with 16 other substances to the REACH Authorization List (Annex XIV of the REACH Regulation). BPA and DOTE are currently authorized for use as a monomer and an additive, respectively, in the manufacture of plastic food-contact materials and articles in the European Union (subject to certain restrictions).

The German Federation of Food Law and Food Science’s (BLL) has introduced a “Toolbox for Preventing the Transfer of Undesired Mineral Oil Hydrocarbons into Food.” The toolbox aims to reduce preventable contamination with mineral oil as much as possible and to identify approaches that aim to reduce the amount of mineral oil contaminants in food.

The toolbox divides the routes of entry into three categories:

The European Commission (EC) asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in March 2018 to determine if the results of four recent studies on titanium dioxide (TiO2), including ones on TiO2 nanoparticles, warranted re-opening a June 2016 EFSA opinion related to the safety of TiO2 (E 171) as a food additive. In the 2016 opinion, EFSA concluded that titanium dioxide when used as a food additive does not raise a concern with respect to genotoxicity and that it is not carcinogenic after oral administration.

The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has determined that the total intake of Bisphenol A (BPA) via food in the Netherlands is very limited.