Tag Archives Europe

The General Court of the European Union has confirmed that bisphenol A (BPA) is a substance of very high concern under the EU's REACH Regulation. PlasticsEurope, which represents four companies that sell BPA-related materials, challenged the categorization. The organization argued that the listing should exclude intermediate uses of BPA, including as an on-site isolated intermediate or a transported isolated intermediate. The General Court ruled that the uses were not exempt from the REACH Regulation, noting that "one of the objectives of the candidate list of substances is the establishment of information sharing obligations in respect of substances of very high concern within the supply chain and with consumers. The identification of a substance as a substance of very high concern serves to improve information for the public and professionals as to the risks and dangers incurred. The General Court therefore considers that the contested decision is consistent with the objective…

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has announced a change in guidance on the use of phosphates as food additives. The agency's scientists recommended a group acceptable daily intake of 40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, or about 2.8 grams for the average 70-kilogram adult. According to the announcement, the existing maximum permitted levels "range from 500 to 20,000 milligrams per kilogram."

The Council of the European Union has voted to adopt measures banning "the 10 single-use plastic products most often found on European beaches," including cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers, cups and other food and beverage containers. The ban focuses on products for which alternatives not constructed of single-use plastic are readily available. The decision will take effect 20 days after it is published in the Official Journal of the European Union, and member countries will have two years to implement the legislation in their national laws.

The EU agriculture committee has reportedly approved a prohibition on the use of the term “meat” to describe vegetable-based products, including bean burgers, vegan sausages and tofu steaks. The provision would limit the use of “steak,” “sausage,” “burger,” “hamburger” and “escalope” to only describe “edible parts of the animals.” One French politician reportedly described the bill as beneficial for consumers. “We felt that steak should be kept for real steak with meat and come up with a new moniker for all these new products. There is a lot to be done in this front, a lot of creativity will be needed,” The Guardian quotes Member of the European Parliament Éric Andrieu as saying. “People need to know what they are eating. So people who want to eat less meat know what they are eating – people know what is on their plate.” Before the provision can take effect, the full…

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is accepting comments on draft dietary reference values for sodium and chloride. The draft values deem 2 grams of sodium and 3.1 grams of chloride per day to be “safe and adequate, considering evidence on the risk of cardiovascular disease on the one hand and nutrition adequacy on the other.” EFSA will accept comments until May 7, 2019.

The European Court of Justice's Grand Chamber has ruled that halal beef cannot carry an EU organic logo if the cows were not stunned before they were slaughtered. Œuvre d’assistance aux bêtes d’abattoirs v. Ministre de l’Agriculture et de l’Alimentation, No. C-497/17 (E.C.J., entered February 26, 2019). The court compared an organic-labeling regulation requiring efforts to preserve animal welfare during the slaughtering process with a regulation allowing religious rituals during slaughter. "While it is true that [the regulation] permits the practice of ritual slaughter as part of which an animal may be killed without first being stunned, that form of slaughter, which is authorised only by way of derogation in the European Union and solely in order to ensure observance of the freedom of religion [], is insufficient to remove all of the animal’s pain, distress and suffering as effectively as slaughter with pre-stunning, which, in accordance with [the regulation],…

The U.K. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has declined to take action against Bacardi-Martini Ltd. following a complaint that its television ad “was irresponsible because it encouraged immoderate drinking by implying that drinking should take place before and throughout a night out.” In its determination, ASA found that “a sealed bottle of Bacardi rum was shown on several occasions but none of the characters in the ad were shown actually serving or drinking the rum” until the group of characters reaches a bar. “The implication was that the group would drink some of the alcohol during their night out, but we noted that none of the characters shown in the ad seemed to be dancing, moving, or otherwise interacting with each other in a way suggestive of intoxication or excessive alcohol consumption at any point, including in the final scenes,” ASA ruled. “For those reasons we concluded that the ad did…

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has released an opinion proposing a revision to tolerable intakes of per- and polyfluoroalykl substances (PFAS), which food packaging can contain. The authors reportedly observed high levels of PFAS in “meat and meat products” as well as “fish and other seafood.” In addition, PFAS was “detected in blood samples of almost all individuals assessed, demonstrating ubiquitous exposure.”

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued a scientific opinion on "the occurrence and control of three parasites that may be transmitted via food, namely Cryptosporidium spp., Toxoplasma gondii, and Echinococcus spp.," which cause the diseases "cryptosporidiosis, toxoplasmosis, and alveolar echinococcosis (AE) and cystic echinococcosis (CE), respectively." EFSA identified "many gaps in our knowledge of food‐borne transmission of the three parasites" but suggested that "consumer preferences for raw, fresh produce may contribute to increasing the likelihood of infection." EFSA further noted that commercial washing of fresh produce, "particularly with the reuse of washwater, may spread localised contamination throughout a batch," resulting in contamination of ready-to-eat produce. EFSA also researched the prevalence of contamination in meat, finding that "consumer preferences for animals raised with access to outdoor conditions, for not freezing meat prior to consumption, and for eating meat raw or rare may increase the likelihood of exposure to infective…

The European Commission has issued a report on antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance that includes a section on Europeans' "attitudes towards the use of antibiotics on sick animals, and their awareness of the ban on using antibiotics to stimulate growth in farm animals." The report states that 56 percent of respondents believed that sick animals should be given antibiotics, while 35 percent told researchers that sick animals should not be treated with antibiotics. The majority of respondents—58 percent—did not know that the use of antibiotics to stimulate growth in farm animals is banned in the EU, which represents a drop by two percentage points since the same question was asked in a 2016 study.

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