12 January - 20 June 2016

Legislation headlines

17 July 13

**Acrylamide in food – EFSA to publicly consult on draft opinion in 2014
**Assessing “chemical mixtures” – current approaches and future priorities
**Cumulative assessment group methodology for pesticides
**Updated list of catering companies with products free from six colours published
**Authorisation of niacin and niacinamide as feed additives for all animal species
**Pesticides and bees: EFSA finalises new guidance
**Horse meat: final report on FSA response
**Scientific opinions

**Acrylamide in food – EFSA to publicly consult on draft opinion in 2014
EFSA’s experts have identified hundreds of scientific studies to consider for the Authority’s first full risk assessment of acrylamide, a chemical compound that forms in starchy food products during high-temperature cooking (including frying, baking and roasting). In 2005, EFSA stated that acrylamide may be a human health concern and that efforts should be made to reduce exposure to this substance through the diet. EFSA’s comprehensive assessment of this scientific issue will allow EU decision-makers to take account of the latest scientific findings in managing possible risks associated with the presence of acrylamide in the food chain. (quoted directly)

**Assessing “chemical mixtures” – current approaches and future priorities
People, animals and the environment can be exposed to multiple chemicals at once from a variety of sources, but current risk assessment is usually carried out on one chemical substance at a time. EFSA has prioritised addressing the assessment of combined exposure to multiple chemicals because of the challenges this poses for the Authority’s scientific work. EFSA has already developed some approaches in this field: recent examples include the risk assessment of mixtures of pesticides for humans and for bees, and mixtures of contaminants for humans. The publication of an EFSA review of international frameworks for assessing chemical mixtures will support the roll-out of harmonised terminology and methodologies for risk assessors. The report also provides a platform for future EFSA work in this area. (quoted direct)

**Cumulative assessment group methodology for pesticides
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has developed a new approach for grouping pesticides that paves the way for the implementation of cumulative risk assessment - a sophisticated technique to assess the risk posed by exposure to multiple pesticide residues. The general methodology for classifying pesticides into so-called cumulative assessment groups (CAGs) is based on identifying compounds that exhibit similar toxicological properties in a specific organ or system. As a first step the Authority’s Panel on Plant Protection Products and their Residues (PPR) has applied this methodology to define groups of pesticides which are toxic to the thyroid and central nervous systems. (quoted direct)

**Entering a name in the register of protected designations of origin Prés-salés de la baie de Somme
France’s application to register the name ‘Prés-salés de la baie de Somme’ was published in the Official Journal of the European Union .

**Updated list of catering companies with products free from six colours published
At the FSA’s January 2012 Board meeting, it was recognised that the food and drink industry, especially the major retailers, had made significant progress in removing from their products the six colours with a possible link to hyperactivity in children. This followed the FSA-funded study by Southampton University. It was less clear what moves had been made in the catering and food service sector.

**Authorisation of niacin and niacinamide as feed additives for all animal species
Niacin (nicotinic acid) and niacinamide (nicotinamide) were authorised without a time limit in accordance with Directive 70/524/EEC as feed additives for use on all animal species as part of the group ‘Vitamins, pro- vitamins and chemically well-defined substances having similar effect’. Those feed additives were subsequently entered in the Community Register of feed additives as existing products, in accordance with Article 10(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1831/2003. Five applications were submitted for the re-evaluation of niacin and niacinamide, as a feed additive for all animal species, requesting those additives to be classified in the additive category ‘nutritional additives’.   The European Food Safety Authority (‘the Authority’) concluded that, under the proposed conditions of use in feed, niacin and niacinamide do not have an adverse effect on animal and consumer health, and are not expected to pose additional risk for the environment.   Accordingly, the use of those additives should be authorised as specified in the Annex to this Regulation.

**Pesticides and bees: EFSA finalises new guidance
EFSA has published guidance for assessing the potential risks to honey bees, bumble bees and solitary bees from the use of pesticides. The previous EU risk assessment scheme for honey bees did not take full account of risks from chronic or repeat exposure to pesticides or the potential risks to larvae. The new guidance fills these gaps as well as adding schemes for bumble bees and solitary bees. It also proposes a new method for assessing whether the potential harm posed to bees from the use of a plant protection product is acceptable. EFSA’s Guidance Document will provide up-to-date advice to those involved in the evaluation of pesticides, including industry and public authorities.

**Horse meat: final report on FSA response
Professor Pat Troop has completed her independent review of the Food Standards Agency’s response to the adulteration of processed beef products with horse and pork meat and DNA. The final report has been published which presented Professor Troop key findings and summaries her recommendations including:

  • the need for improved intelligence across the food industry
  • the need for the FSA to strengthen its major incident plan
  • improved clarity of the role of Government departments in large, complex incidents
  • review of the FSA’s powers and the use of framework agreements and codes of conduct

**Scientific opinions

Data collection of welfare indicators at broiler slaughterhouses

Review of the existing MRLs for tolylfluanid

GD on risk assessment on bees

AGal-Pro for poultry

Natugrain TS for pigs for fattening

Potassium sorbate for all animals except dogs and cats

Modification of the existing MRLs for metaflumizone in various commodities

Review of the existing MRLs for acetochlor

Review of the existing MRLs for 2-naphthyloxyacetic acid

Dealing with Human Risk Assessment of Combined Exposure to Multiple Chemicals

Identification of pesticides to be included in cumulative assessment groups on the basis of their toxicological profile

Peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of confirmatory data submitted for the active substance dimethoate

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