Commission publishes EU roadmap on FCM law evaluation

The European Commission has published a roadmap outlining how it will evaluate EU legislation on food contact materials (FCMs). DG Sante says it will to look at whether the current EU legislative framework for FCMs is fit for purpose, by assessing its “effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, and coherence including coherence with other chemicals and food legislation”. The work will also examine how materials for which there are no EU specific measures, but that are subject to national provisions in some member states, should be legislated in the future. Last year’s EU Parliament report on FCM legislation, and a study by the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), released earlier this year, will feed into the work. Both papers criticised severe shortcomings in how FCMs are currently regulated. Feedback on the roadmap can be sent in until 26 December. The Commission also promises to invite comments from relevant stakeholders – including NGOs, national authorities, trade bodies and scientific experts – at several points during the evaluation. There will be a 12-week public consultation in the second or third quarter of 2018, a set of surveys, interviews and case studies targeted at particular stakeholder groups, and a conference or workshop at some point during the process.

November criticism

Earlier this month DG Sante came under fire from MEPs who said its work on FCMs was moving too slowly. And NGO CHEM Trust criticised it for a lack of transparency in the process. Responding to the roadmap, CHEM Trust said it welcomed the upcoming review of EU FCM laws. The NGO’s executive director, Michael Warhurst, said the roadmap confirms that the Commission has done no formal evaluation work on the 2004 EU FCM Regulation. “This lack of analysis of the effectiveness of this measure, which is supposed to protect human health, compares very badly with the way industrial chemical regulation has been reviewed and improved in the same period,” he said. Further information is available at:

Chemical Watch, 30 November 2017 ; http://chemicalwatch.com