Food Law News - EU - 2001

Standing Committee on Foodstuffs, 14-15 June 2001

CONTAMINANTS - Standing Committee on Foodstuffs - Dioxins and aflatoxins

(a) Dioxins and dioxin like PCB's in foodstuffs.

Discussion on a working document for a draft Commission Regulation setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs.

Discussion on a working document for a draft Commission Recommendation on the reduction of the presence of dioxins in the food chain.

(b) Discussion on the establishment of a specific limit for aflatoxins in cereals to be subjected to sorting or other physical treatment.

The Commission representative reported on the outcome of the discussions in the Expert Committee meeting on 8 May 2001 on this issue.

It concerns the revision clauses foreseen in Commission Regulation 194/97 of 31 January 1997 setting maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs with regard to:

On the first item, only data for almonds were submitted. These data indicate clearly that the aflatoxin content in almonds is reduced through sorting, cleaning and other physical treatment. However given the variability of the data, it is difficult to assess the extent of the reduction. Therefore the Expert Committee concluded that it is appropriate to maintain the current maximum limits and to delete the footnote on revision of the maximum limits. It is noted that on the basis of new technological and scientific knowledge and progress, the provisions can be reviewed anyhow at any time.

On the second item (cereals) the expert committee concluded that talking into account that :

it is appropriate to extend for maize only the period of time with another two years to submit further data and information on the possibilities to reduce the aflatoxin content through sorting cleaning or another physical treatments. For raw cereals, other than maize the maximum limits established for the cereals intended for direct human consumption should apply as from 1 July 2001.

The Standing Committee endorsed the conclusions of the Expert Committee and the Commission representative announced that a legislative text will be submitted for opinion at a next meeting of the Standing Committee.

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