Food Law News - EU - 1998
15 December 1998: CONTAMINANTS - Mycotoxins - EC Permitted Levels
JFSSG Letter, 15 December 1998
Mycotoxins - EC Permitted Levels
There has been a further meeting of the Commission Working Group on Agricultural Contamints which considered issues relating to harmonised ochratoxin A (OA) controls and aflatoxins in spices.
- Ochratoxin A (OA) - Preliminary nformation on consumption levels in the EU had been assembled which indicates that cereals were responsible for more than 50% of total OA exposure. Other significant sources appear to be red wine, coffee and been. There was some concern about chocolate which has a relatively high level of consumption in the UK. Member States still appeared to accept the principle that regulatory limits should only be set for commodities which contribute significantly to total OA exposure. Discussion will continue at the next meeting on 3 February.
- Aflatoxin in spices - Information on contamination level in spices had become available from the ECís co-ordinated control programme. A decision on regulatory limits had been deferred pending these reults. The available results for nutmeg, chilli powder, pepper and paprika powder indicate that for most products significant proportions are contaminated in excess of 10 ppb. The Commission still feels that it is likely to have a majority in favour of a regulatory limit and will make a formal proposal, but some Mmeber Staes were concerned that regulation may be an excessive response to the problem since spices contribute such a small proportion of aflatoxins exposure. Discussion will continue.
Other items discussed included:
- Import emasures for Iranian pistachios - a report is due shortly on the ECís mission to Iran and it is likely to be discussed at the February meeting of the Standing Committee on Foodstuffs.
- Some results are avaialble on aflatoxin levels in cereals for trade and the implications are being assessed.
- Two minor errors have been notified in the published version of Directive 98/53/EC.
For previous item, see 21 October 1998
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