12 January - 20 June 2016

Legislation headlines

5 June 13

**Horse meat review - key findings
**The Caseins and Caseinates Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013
**The Condensed Milk and Dried Milk Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013
**Use of E 172, E 464 and E 432-436 for marking of certain fruits
**Pesticides and protected crops – EFSA consults on risk assessment guidance
**EU food additives list enters into force
**Views wanted on legislation governing health controls in the food and agriculture industries
**Whitefish processors industry guide published
**Protection of geographical indications ‘Focaccia di Recco col formaggio’
**Protection of designations of origin ‘Istarski pršut’
**Amendment to an application on protected geographical indications ‘Ciliegia di Marostica’
**Amending Regulation governing the import of feed and food following the Fukushima accident
**FSA welcomes changes to pig inspections
**Entering a name in the register of protected geographical indications Salmerino del Trentino
**Entering a name in the register of protected geographical indications Agnello del Centro Italia
**Scientific opinions

**Horse meat review - key findings
At the Food Standards Agency open Board meeting, Professor Pat Troop presented the key findings of her review of the Agency’s handling of the adulteration of processed beef products with horse and pig meat and DNA. The final report will be published at the end of this month on the FSA website.  Overall, Professor Troop commended the Agency’s handling and recognised that this incident was very unusual in both its scale and profile. Her report highlighted four key points to consider:

  • The need for improved intelligence sharing and analysis across the sector
  • The need for the FSA to strengthen its Major Incident Plan
  • Improved clarity of the role of Government departments in large complex incidents
  • A review of the FSA’s powers and the use of framework agreements and codes of conduct

RSSL' s DNA and Protein Laboratory uses PCR techniques to detect pork and beef DNA in protein extracts and other complex ingredients. Routine meat speciation can also be carried out using ELISA techniques to detect pork, beef, lamb, poultry and horse. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com

**The Caseins and Caseinates Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013
The consultation will provide interested parties with the opportunity to comment on the draft Caseins and Caseinates Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013, which will consolidate existing regulations.

**The Condensed Milk and Dried Milk Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013
This consultation will provide interested parties with the opportunity to comment on the draft Condensed Milk and Dried Milk Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2013, which will streamline existing regulations.

**Use of E 172, E 464 and E 432-436 for marking of certain fruits
Amending Annexes I, II and III to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the use of iron oxides and hydroxides (E 172), hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (E 464) and polysorbates (E 432-436) for marking of certain fruits.  Research and development have shown that iron oxides and hydroxides (E 172) when applied to the surface of fruit or vegetables following depigmentation of certain parts (e.g. by laser treatment), enhance the contrast of these parts to the remaining surface by interacting with certain released components of the epidermis. That effect can be used for marking fruit or vegetables. Therefore, it is appropriate to add a new functional class ‘contrast enhancers’ to Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008. An application for authorisation of the use of iron oxides and hydroxides (E 172) as a contrast enhancer, hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (E 464) as a glazing agent for indelible marking of certain fruits and polysorbates (E 432-436) as emulsifiers in the contrast enhancer preparation was submitted on 8 April 2011 and has been made available to the Member States.  Since the authorisation of use of iron oxides and hydroxides (E 172) and hydroxypropyl methyl cellulose (E 464) for marking of citrus fruit, melons and pomegranates and polysorbates (E 432- 436) for use in the contrast enhancer preparation constitutes updates of these lists which are not liable to have an effect on human health, it is not necessary to seek the opinion of the European Food Safety Authority.

**Pesticides and protected crops – EFSA consults on risk assessment guidance
EFSA has launched a public consultation on draft guidance on how to carry out environmental risk assessments of plant protection products emitted from protected crops – those grown in greenhouses and under cover. The document provides guidance on how and when to assess such emissions into soil, surface water, groundwater and the air. It also addresses what elements should be used in exposure scenarios for risk assessment - both for soil-bound and soil-less cultivations. All stakeholders and interested parties are invited to comment on the guidance document through an online public consultation that runs until 30 July 2013. (quoted directly)

**EU food additives list enters into force
From 1 June 2013 the EU list of authorised food additives took effect and previous European directives are replaced with a single regulation. The EU list – which informs food industry operators which additives can be used in food as well as how much of them and for which purposes – takes account of five years of EFSA’s scientific advice, resulting in the removal of some additives and some of their uses from the market. (European Commission, EFSA)

**Views wanted on legislation governing health controls in the food and agriculture industries
The European Commission has published a package of proposals to revise the current legislation governing health controls in the food and agriculture industries. The proposed plans will potentially affect all those involved in the production, manufacture, supply and regulation of food, feed, live animals, plants and plant reproductive material such as seeds.  The Commission’s aim is to develop a modernised legal framework for a more competitive EU. The proposals should simplify the existing regime by consolidating approximately 70 current pieces of EU legislation.  It will aim to create a more consistent approach to official controls, such as inspection and approvals, throughout the food and agriculture sectors. The changes are also intended to support more sustainable and effective control systems across European Union (EU) Member States.  Stakeholders’ views and advice on the potential impact and the scale of the proposed changes, as well as any practical considerations on how the measures might be implemented, will help form the basis for the UK’s negotiations with the Commission and other member states. (Defra)

**Whitefish processors industry guide published
A new industry guide to good hygiene practice for whitefish processors is available to order from The Stationery Office (TSO). Produced by the Grimsby Fish Merchants Association, on behalf of industry, the guide aims to help processors to comply with food safety and hygiene law. The guide is recognised by the Food Standards Agency. (quoted directly)

**Protection of geographical indications ‘Focaccia di Recco col formaggio’
‘Focaccia di Recco col formaggio’ is an oven-baked product made by blending extra virgin olive oil, salt and water into common wheat flour dough, which is then filled with soft fresh cheese.

**Protection of designations of origin ‘Istarski pršut’
‘Istarski pršut’ is dry-cured meat product, produced from pig's ham (hind leg), without rind and subcutaneous fat tissue, and with pelvic bones. The fresh hams are firstly dry-brined with sea salt and spices, then air-dried, not smoked, in total undergoing the ripening process for at least 12 months.

**Amendment to an application on protected geographical indications ‘Ciliegia di Marostica’
Amendments have been made to product description, method of production, and labelling.  ‘Ciliegia di Marostica’ refers to the fruit obtained from the cultivation of varieties of cherries that belong to a number of groups

**Amending Regulation governing the import of feed and food following the Fukushima accident
Amending implementing Regulation (EU) No 996/2012 imposing special conditions governing the import of feed and food originating in or consigned from Japan following the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power station.  The measures have been reviewed taking into account the occurrence data on radioactivity in feed and food provided by the Japanese authorities for the period between September 2012 and January 2013.  As regards the prefectures of Gunma, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Miyagi, Saitama, Tokyo, Iwate, Chiba and Kanagawa, Implementing Regulation (EU) No 996/2012 requires to sample and analyse, before export to the Union, mushrooms, tea, fishery products, certain edible wild plants, certain vegetables, certain fruits, rice and soybeans and the processed and derived products thereof. Following the detailed assessment of the data provided, pears, taro, yacon, pome fruit, pawpaw and scallops should be removed from the list of products for which sampling and analysis are required before export while buckwheat, lotus root and threeleaf arrowroot should be included in that list. Given that the import of fresh bovine meat from Japan has been recently allowed by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 196/2013 of 7 March 2013 amending Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 206/2010 as regards the new entry for Japan in the list of third countries or parts thereof from which imports into the European Union of certain fresh meat are authorised ( 6 ), it is necessary to add fresh bovine meat to the list of products for which sampling and analysis are required before export.

**FSA welcomes changes to pig inspections
European member states have voted for new legislation to modernise the inspection system in pig slaughterhouses.  The new legislation aims to improve food safety by increasing the focus on microbiological hazards, which are the main food safety risk from meat, and introduce a more proportionate risk-based approach to hygiene and welfare inspections, known as official controls. Measures agreed include: strengthened salmonella controls in pig slaughterhouses, reduced trichinella testing where other controls are in place and reduced carcass handling to minimise cross-contamination (FSA – quoted directly)

**Entering a name in the register of protected geographical indications Salmerino del Trentino
Italy’s application to register the name ‘Salmerino del Trentino’ was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. 

**Entering a name in the register of protected geographical indications Agnello del Centro Italia
 Italy’s application to register the name ‘Agnello del Centro Italia’ was published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

**Scientific opinions

Peer review of the pesticide risk assessment for bees for the active substance fipronil

L-selenomethionine for all species

Guidance Document on the ERA of GM animals

Assessment of potential integration of a DNA plasmid-based vaccine into the salmon genome

Setting of an import tolerance for didecyldimethylammonium chloride in citrus

Reasoned opinion on the modification of the existing MRL for tebuconazole in poppy seed

Reasoned opinion on the modification of the existing MRLs for indoxacarb in various salad plants and in spinach-like plants

Reasoned opinion on the review of the existing maximum residue levels (MRLs) for cyanamide according to Article 12 of Regulation (EC) No 396/2005

Peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance disodium phosphonate

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