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Commission Consultation, 22 August 2017
The Commission has published a draft Regulation for consultation. The following are the introductory recitals in the document. The full draft Regulation is available on this site as well a document containing a draft Annex. The consultation closes on the 19 September 2017. For more details, see: https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say_en
(1) Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 sets maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs.
(2) In May of 2016, the Scientific Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) of the European Food Safety Authority ('the Authority') adopted a scientific opinion on the Risks for human health related to the presence of 3-and 2-monochloropropanediol (MCPD), and their fatty acid esters, and glycidyl fatty acid esters in food.
(3) In view of the updated guidance of its Scientific Committee on the use of the benchmark dose approach in risk assessment, the Authority has decided to re-open the assessment of 3-MCPD and its fatty acid esters, following a detailed analysis of the divergences in opinions, concerning that contaminant, between the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives and the Authority. Therefore it is appropriate to wait for the outcome of the assessment of 3-MCPD and its acid esters before taking appropriate regulatory measures.
(4) Glycidyl fatty acid esters are food contaminants found at highest levels in refined vegetable oils and fats. Glycidyl fatty acid esters are hydrolysed in glycidol in the gastrointestinal tract.
(5) The Authority concluded that glycidol is a genotoxic and carcinogenic compound. In view of the genotoxic and carcinogenic potential of glycidol, the Authority applied a margin of exposure ('MoE') approach. Scenarios of exposure for infants, toddlers and other children ranging from 12800 to 4900 and in infants receiving only formula diet resulted in a MoE of about 5500 to 2100. The Authority considered that a MoE lower than 25000 is of health concern. It is therefore appropriate to establish a maximum level for the presence of glycidyl fatty acid esters in vegetable oils and fats placed on the market for the final consumer or for use as an ingredient in food. Because of the health concern for infants, toddlers and young children it is appropriate to establish a stricter maximum level for vegetable oils and fats destined for the production of baby food and processed cereal-based food for infants and young children.
(6) In order to exclude any possible health concerns as regards infants, toddlers and young children, in particular, taking into account the possible exposure to glycidyl esters of infants solely fed on infant formula, it is appropriate to establish a specific strict maximum level for infant formula, follow-on formula and food for special medical purposes intended for infants and young children.
(7) Food business operators should be granted enough time to adapt their production processes.
(8) Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 should therefore be amended accordingly.
(9) The measures provided for in this Regulation are in accordance with the opinion of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed.