Europe-wide rules to protect consumer health from the effects of chemical migration into food are currently contained in the Plastic Materials and Articles in Contact with Food Regulations 1998.
Suzi Leather, Deputy Chair of the Food Standards Agency, said today: "The question of materials that come into contact with food is a technically complex one, but very important for consumers. The current Regulations - and the extra controls we are putting forward today - lay down lists of substances which are used to make plastics that come into contact with food. They are, in effect, lists of ingredients - some of which have individual restrictions in the form of specific migration limits. The more substances covered by regulations, the greater the degree of protection for consumers. We are pressing the European Commission to complete the process of listing substances as quickly as possible."
A consultation document has been issued to interested parties. It is available to any member of the public through the Food Standards Agency website. The closing date for comments is 15th July 2000, with a view to implementation by 31st December 2000.
The Plastic Materials and Articles in Contact with Food (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2000, being consulted on today, would amend the current Regulations (contained in SI 1998 No 1376), which implement all relevant EU Directives on food contact plastics to date. The draft Regulations would implement Directive 1999/91/EC, published in the Official Journal of the European Communities No L310, of 4th December 1999.