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EFSA Drafts Opinion for Food Contact Materials

July 27, 2015

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has drafted Scientific Opinion for public consultation on recent developments in the risk assessment of chemicals in food and their potential impact on the safety assessment of substances used in food contact materials.

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food (FCM), the EFSA Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF Panel) evaluates the safety of certain substances prior to their authorization for use in FCM plastics. The current guidelines on this risk assessment process and the corresponding data requirements from applicants date back to the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) guidelines from 2001. In the light of new developments in science and regulation, along with the experience gained since 2001 from the safety evaluation of hundreds of substances, it is appropriate to revisit the scientific underpinnings of the SCF guidelines published back in 2001 with a view to possibly updating them.

The draft document reviews risk assessment of chemicals that may impact food contact items and includes:

- Introduction of three categories for infants; toddlers and others

- Increase focus on finished article

- Update guidelines regarding Non Intentionally Added Substances (NIAS)

- Genotoxity testing

i) bacterial reverse mutation assay;

ii) in vitro mammalian cell micronucleus testing

- In vitro base test

i) in vivo micronucleus test

ii) in vivio comet assay

iii) transgenic rodent gene mutation assay

The comment period is open until October 7, 2015.