12 January - 20 June 2016

Legislation headlines

  • Risk to humans from nickel in food and drinking water
  • Sweden allows dietary advice on food labels
  • Amendment regarding the BSE status of Costa Rica, Germany, Lithuania, Namibia and Spain
  • Application for entering a name in the register of protected designations of origin ‘Anguria Reggiana’ (PDO)
  • Entering a name in the register of protected geographical indications Oecher Puttes/Aachener Puttes (PGI)
  • Entering a name in the register of protected designations of origin Krčko maslinovo ulje (PDO)
  • The extension of the approval period of the active substance glyphosate
  • Amendment regarding protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks
  • Opportunity for stakeholders to join the FSA
  • Regulating our Future programme Expert Advisory Panel
  • Scientific opinions

Risk to humans from nickel in food and drinking water
Nickel is a metal occurring widely in the earth's surface. Nickel is present in food and drinking water due to natural and anthropogenic activity.  The Hellenic Food Authority asked the European Food Safety Authority (‘EFSA’) to evaluate the risk to human health from the presence of nickel in food, particularly in vegetables.  The EFSA Scientific Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM Panel) decided to extend the risk assessment to drinking water and adopted the Scientific Opinion on the risks to public health related to the presence of nickel in food and drinking water (1). This opinion identified reproductive and developmental toxicity as the critical effect for the risk characterization of chronic oral exposure to nickel. Eczematous flare-up reactions and worsening of allergic reactions were identified as the critical effect for acute oral exposure to nickel of nickel-sensitized humans. For certain food groups considered as main contributors to dietary exposure in the EFSA Scientific Opinion, only limited occurrence data were available. In view of possible future risk management measures, a better view on the nickel content in food commodities belonging to these food groups would be advisable,

Sweden allows dietary advice on food labels
Livsmedelverket, Swedens National Food Agency has decided that food companies can now include national dietary guidelines on their products packaging and marketing material.  This could include for example ‘switch to wholemeal’, ‘eat lots of fruit, vegetables and berries’. The new rules come into force immediately and will affect food products that display Sweden healthy keyhole logo.  The keyhole logo was established in Sweden in 1989 and has now become a common Nordic label for healthy food products in Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Authorisation for non keyhole logo products will be done on a case by case basis. (Food Navigator)

Amendment regarding the BSE status of Costa Rica, Germany, Lithuania, Namibia and Spain
Regulation (EC) No 999/2001 provides that Member States, third countries or regions thereof (‘countries or regions’) are to be classified according to their bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) status into one of three categories: negligible BSE risk, controlled BSE risk and undetermined BSE risk.  In addition to the countries previously recognised as having a negligible BSE risk status, that Resolution recognised Costa Rica, Germany, Lithuania, Namibia and Spain as having a negligible BSE risk.

Application for entering a name in the register of protected designations of origin ‘Anguria Reggiana’ (PDO)
Italy have applied for ‘Anguria Reggiana’ to enter the name of register of protected designations of origin.  The indication ‘Anguria Reggiana’ designates fruits of the botanical species Citrullus lanatus in their fresh state

Entering a name in the register of protected geographical indications Oecher Puttes/Aachener Puttes (PGI)
Pursuant to Article 50(2)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012, Germany's application to register the name ‘Oecher Puttes’/‘Aachener Puttes’ was published in the Official Journal of the European Union.  As no statement of opposition under Article 51 of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 has been received by the Commission, the name ‘Oecher Puttes’/‘Aachener Puttes’ should therefore be entered in the register.

Entering a name in the register of protected designations of origin Krčko maslinovo ulje (PDO)
Pursuant to Article 50 of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012, Croatia's application to register the name ‘Krčko maslinovo ulje’ was published in the Official Journal of the European Union.  As no statement of opposition under Article 51 of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 has been received by the Commission, the name ‘Krčko maslinovo ulje’ should therefore be entered in the register,

The extension of the approval period of the active substance glyphosate
The approval period of the active substance glyphosate will expire on 30 June 2016. An application for the renewal of the inclusion of that substance in Annex I to Council Directive 91/414/EEC was submitted in accordance with Article 4 of Commission Regulation (EU) No 1141/2010.  Due to the fact that the assessment of the substance and the decision on a renewal of the approval have been delayed for reasons beyond the control of the applicant, the approval of the active substance is likely to expire before a decision has been taken on its renewal.  The commission asked the EFSA for its opinion on whether glyphosate was carcinogenic.  The findings of the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the proposal for classification of the Authority as regards the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate are divergent. In view of the time required to assess the dossier concerning the harmonised classification, it is necessary to extend the approval period of the active substance until 6 months from the date of receipt of the opinion of the Committee for Risk Assessment of the European Chemicals Agency by the Commission but however until 31 December 2017 at the latest.

Amendment regarding protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks
Member States were asked to submit to the Commission a technical file for each established geographical indication registered in Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 no later than 20 February 2015. Until 20 February 2015, the Commission received technical files for 243 geographical indications out of the 330 established geographical indications. For the other 87 established geographical indications, no technical file was received within the given deadline and these should now be removed from the Annex III to that Regulation, with the other 243 remaining for the time being.

Opportunity for stakeholders to join the FSA Regulating our Future programme Expert Advisory Panel
The Regulating our Future programme is a critical strategic programme for the Food Standards Agency. It is central to FSA’s ability to fulfil their statutory purposes, public expectations in the future and to deliver our strategic plan. The FSA would like to receive expressions of interest to join the FSA regulating our future programme expert panel from stakeholders in large businesses to local authority. Closing date for expressions of interest is 15 July 2016. Please send your application to: FutureDelivery@foodstandards.gsi.gov.uk

Scientific opinions

Peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance oxathiapiprolin

Modification of the existing maximum residue levels for zoxamide in various leafy crops

Modification of the existing maximum residue levels for metalaxyl in various crops

Modification of the existing maximum residue levels for cyproconazole in pulses, barley and oat

Overview of existing methodologies for the estimation of non-dietary exposure to chemicals from the use of consumer products and via the environment

Safety and efficacy of BIOSTRONG® 510 (essential oil of thyme and star anise) for chickens and minor avian species for fattening and rearing to point of lay

Peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance Coniothyrium minitans Strain CON/M/91-08

Modification of existing MRL for prohexadione-calcium in strawberries

Peer review of the pesticide risk assessment of the active substance linuron

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