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30.5.2018 PYRROLIZIDINE ALKALOIDS: - Draft Comments

Many thanks to all of you who have already provided input into this request. více

22.5.2018 GENERAl FOOD LAW: Analysis, comments and proposed amendments for your input

As you are aware, the proposal for changing the General Food Law Regulation is currently in the regulatory process and Mrs. Renate Sommer (EPP), who was our guest at the Berlin conference has been appointed rapporteur in the European Parliament.

We have analysed the proposal and identified a number of critical issues, some f which can severely affect the competitive position of the European food industry and in particular the market of functional ingredients. Notably the intention to make full applications available at the moment the application is submitted, is unacceptable as it will display the applicants knowhow and business plans for all competition to just take and copy.

Attached is a short document highlighting the key aspects that we would like to bring to the attention of the rapporteur and national authorities that provide input in the Council discussions. Also attached is.a number of possible amendments.

Given that we are under time constraints, we would like to receive your input and comments by 25 May.

We will liaise with FoodDrinkEurope and EU Specialty Food Ingredients to develop a common list of amendments and coordinate on our approach in the Parliament and towards the Council. více

22.5.2018 ADDITIVES : EFSA ANS Plenary Meeting - TIO2 - Monacolin K - Nutrient guidance

EFSA Additives Panel held a plenary meeting opened to observers yesterday (May 16) that discussed in particular three issues of interest to Food Supplements:  více

15.5.2018 Mutual Recognition Update - Input by May 26

We are pleased to share with you an update on Mutual Recognition (MR), following our meeting with the EC official in charge of the dossier.  více

30.4.2018 PYRROLIZIDINE ALKALOIDS: FSE activities based on further feedback for the EC Working Group meeting

This is to inform you on our activities relating to pyrrolizidine alkaloids, as a follow up of the meeting of the EC working group of 6 April where the FSE provided information was discussed by the Member States.

As already reported, the discussions of the Member States go into the direction of covering all 21 PAs. Levels, if set will be based on the lower bound and a LOQ is likely to be set at <5 μg/kg. We understand that there still are issues with the feasibility of the analytical methods and that the Commission will ask EURL to check with the national reference labs what is feasible.

Although the options (maximum levels, guidance levels and guides of best practice) are still open, the discussion seems to focus on setting levels. A number of Member States indicated to be in favour of setting very low maximum levels for plants that naturally contain PAs. The NL authorities indicated that their legislation is under revision.

It is therefore crucial to find support of the Member States for the application of guidance levels based on best practice. 

As both tea and herbal infusions and food supplements seem to be the priorities for discussion at the next meeting of the working group, FSE organised a meeting with Tea & Herbal Infusion Europe (THIE) to explore possibilities for a collaboration.

Although naturally PS containing plants are not used in tea and herbal infusion, the accidental co-harvesting is an issue that THIE has been working on and where much progress in the application of guides of best practice has been made. 

FSE and THIE agreed therefore to share information on EU developments and promote a common approach based on guides of best practice in the countries covered by their membership.

Since there may be a lack of knowledge in officials dealing with this issue at EU level, raising awareness is the key priority and the possibility for joint meetings are envisaged in a number of Member States. We would ask our members to liaise with the national experts participating in the EU discussion in their country to communicate the FSE position. We would be pleased to help where needed.

Within BLL a common code is being developed covering all affected foods, including food supplements. We will investigate how this work (scheduled to be finalised by end 2018) could be leveraged at EU level, with the help of the sectors that are primarily affected (FSE, THIE, ESA (spices), EUROPAM (growers), FEEDM (Honey) and ultimately Food Drink Europe). It would be good to identify national members of these associations, so collaboration can also be build at national level.

We count on our members to raise the awareness, so we can avoid that restrictive maximum levels are set for accidental contamination and will keep you further updated. The activities will be coordinated with the help of our specific botanicals task force.

Please let us know your information as soon as possible.


30.4.2018 CONTAMINANTS: PERCHLORATE call for input

As we informed you before, the Commission is discussing the setting of maximum levels for the presence of perchlorate in a number of foods. Perchlorate is a contaminant that is taken up by plants from the soil. It is of particular importance for leafy vegetables.
In 2015 the Commission developed guidance levels for trade between the Member States (see attached). Based on new data and pending a current investigation by EFSA, these, or even lower levels are likely to be proposed in the coming months as legal limits.

Specific levels are set for dried tea and herbal infusions. For all foods not specifically mentioned, a default level of 0.05 mg/kg applies. This would also be the level applicable to food supplements.

As we have no data to assess if this level is feasible for botanical food supplements, we would urgently ask our members to share any data or views, so we can take the necessary actions

As we informed you, the Commission official in charge of contaminants is our guest at the next Food Supplements Forum meeting on 31 May, which presents an opportunity to discuss this.

Please let us know any data or views by 18 May. Please also let us know if you do not have data or other information.


23.4.2018 CONTAMINANTS : EC consultation on Maximum levels for Ochratoxin A and Erucic Acid in various foods

Following the findings of increased levels of Ochratoxin A in food commodities which are not regulated (i.e. no maximum level has been established) at EU level, the working group “Agricultural Contaminants” of the Standing Committee on Plants Animals Food and Feed, section Novel Food and Toxicological Safety of the Food Chain, has discussed the possible setting of maximum levels in various foods.  více

17.4.2018 ADDITIVES : Agenda of next EFSA Additives Panel - May 15 to 17 - Titanium Dioxide - Monacolin in red rice yeast

Further our mails below, please be informed that next EFSA Additives and Nutrients Sources Panel taking place on May 15 to 17, 2018 will discuss the draft output on the 4 studies on Titanium Dioxide that have recently been submitted by the EC for review ( our mail of April 4 below). The agenda of the meeting is attached for your information.  Part of it will be open to observers, notably that relating to Titanium Dioxide.  více

11.4.2018 CONTAMINANTS; Update on Pyrrollizidine alkaloids

This is to update you on the discussions that took place last week in relation to pyrrolizidine alkaloids in the EC working group..

The Commission and Member States took well note of our comments. They discussed the 21 alkaloids and the methods of analysis. Based on national experience, a report will be developed for the next meeting on the methods of analysis.

Also the national measures already in place in Netherlands and Belgium for PA containing plants were discussed. Although support from certain Member States, we understand there is as yet no firm determination to proceed with setting maximum levels neither for plants naturally containing PAs, nor for accidental co-harvesting.

The Commission and Member States set priorities for actions, with tea and herbal infusions as first priority, food supplements as second and honey as third.

The Commission welcomed our data, but indicated that it may be of limited value for an assessment by EFSA given that we should provide data of the combined presence of the 21 alkaloids.

Please send. Any further data to the secretariat.

The next meeting is scheduled end of May, beginning of June.

We invited the EC to come to our Food Supplements Forum meeting on 31 May. So members with a particular interest in contaminants are very welcome to attend. více

11.4.2018 ADDITIVE - NANO: E 171 Titanium Dioxide - France asks EC for immediate prohibition

To follow up the note below, please find attached the note the French authorities (plus English translation) have sent to the Commission, asking for an urgency measure to ban the use of TiO2 on the basis of article 53 of the General Food Law Regulation.

The reason given is the availability of new studies that the EC has asked EFSA to assess.

This matter will be discussed in the meeting of the Standing Committee on 17 April (See agenda attached).

Noteworthy is also that the French Parliament recently voted in a Committee on the ban of products containing TiO2 (manufactured in France and imported) as of July. This still has to be confirmed by the plenary. více

10.4.2018 Issue with nano-labelling in France

This is to inform you about an issue that our members have informed us about in France and that we would like to bring to your attention.

The French enforcement authorities DGCCRF have started enforcing the labelling of nano material on foods, including food supplements. In particularly products containing titanium dioxide and silicon dioxide are being tested and companies are being contacted and fined for not labelling the nano aspect of these substances.

It is clear that in doing so  the French authorities take a position that is not in conformity with EU rules;

- EU labelling rules (Regulation 1169/2011, Art 2.2 (t)) requires the labelling of ‘engineered’ nano-materials only. The French DGCCRF does not make any distinction between engineered nano-materials and non-engineered ones (which may be present in TiO2 and SiO2)

- The French authorities have published a specific law on the labelling of nano-materials (Arrêté of 17 Mai 2017) in which they adopt the EU definition from Regulation 1169/2011 (which since 1 January 2018 is in Regulation 2015/2283, Art 3.2 (f)) but also include a reference to a 10% threshold for labelling, which is not set at EU level and thus creates an interpretation issue.

The Commission intends to update the definition, but is waiting for the update of the Commission recommendation on the definition of nano-materials first, which is now only expected by end of this year)

The approach but the French authorities is a result of huge pressure by consumer groups. Some of these groups have already taken food companies to court over this issue.

This is an issue that has not spread to other Member States yet. The Commission is aware but is not intending to address this for the time being.

For companies being challenged on the French market, we recommend following the French industry associations, that are in direct discussion with the authorities. Our position is clearly that the approach of the DGCCRF is not in line with current EU law.

We continue monitoring this issue.

Please inform us as soon as you would have any indication this issue is also spreading in your country. více

4.4.2018 ARTICLE 8 Procedure: Update

This is to update you on the specific dossiers that are currently being treated or considered under article 8 of Regulation 1925/2006.

Hydroxyanthrace derivatives: 

FSE submitted this month the third part of its comments highlighting the uncertainties EFSA has explained during the post-adoption teleconference that was held in February. The Member States have been asked for their position and so far about 10 of them have done so. The Commission is still collecting Member State’s views and some further clarification from EFSA. No meeting is scheduled as yet for further discussion, but a proposal to put the substance in parts A, B or C will have to be presented by The Commission in due course. We keep following this intensely.

Green tea catechins:

The EFSa opinion was adopted on 14 March and is scheduled to be published in the course of May. Since the outcome of the opinion is not known, no discussions are yet foreseen at Commission level.

Monacolin K

EFSA is still in the progress of delivering its opinion. The deadline was extended until 30 June 2018.

New candidates for submission in the procedure:

Safety concerns about two further substances have been raised:
- Alpha-lipoic acid by Denmark
- Fennel tea use in infants and young children by Germany
No decision has been taken yet to submit or not these substances in the process.

Please let us know if these substances are of particular concern for you, as well as information that could be helpful for the Commission at this stage in the discussions. více

4.4.2018 Spain : Amendment to FS Decree published

Further to our mail below, please note that the Spanish Royal Decree 130/2018, of 16 March, modifying the Royal Decree 1487/2009, of 26 September, on food supplements has now been published in the Spanish Official Journal.  více

4.4.2018 Spain : Amendment to FS Decree published

Further to our mail below, please note that the Spanish Royal Decree 130/2018, of 16 March, modifying the Royal Decree 1487/2009, of 26 September, on food supplements has now been published in the Spanish Official Journal.  více

23.3.2018 Other Substances : Spain adopt its positive list

The Spanish Agency for Consumer Affairs, Food Safety and Nutrition (AECOSAN) published a press release on MARCH 16, 2018,  indicating that the proposed amendment to the Spanish Royal Decree 1487/2009 on food supplements , that would include a list of other substances authorised for use, had been approved by the Council of Ministers.  více

20.3.2018 MUTUAL RECOGNITION: Final FSE comments

Please find herewith the final comments that will be submitted by FSE in this consultation. více

27.2.2018 CONTAMINANTS : EU Regulation on glycidyl fatty acid esters

Please note that Commission Regulation (EU) 2018/290 of 26 February 2018, which amends the contaminants Regulation as regards maximum levels of glycidyl fatty acid esters , notably in vegetable oils and fats for use as an ingredient in food, thus including food supplements , has been published in the Official Journal of the EU.   více

27.12.2017 Mutual Recognition : EC proposal adopted + consultation opened by Feb 15

As indicated during our last FSE Forum meeting, the EC College of Commissioners has now adopted its formal proposal on Mutual Recognition as part of its goods package ( December 20). It is now to be sent to the Council and Parliament to review (co-decision). Once adopted, it will become applicable as of January 1, 2020.  více

8.12.2017 Vitamin B6 - Netherlands : notification of new text setting maximum levels

This is to inform you that the Netherlands  authorities have notified to the EC and Member States of a draft Commodities Act aiming to repeal and replace their Commodities Act Order on vitamin exemptions ( text only available in Dutch so far at: http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/tris/en/index.cfm/search/?trisaction=search.detail&year=2017&num=546&mLang=en&CFID=1586341&CFTOKEN=51f9edf1903da5c7-5BF25AC8-CCAF-94A7-EB07684C44215A98 ) více

13.11.2017 OTHER SUBSTANCES': Final comments on Belgian draft Decree - Your input requested

Please find attached the comments that we shared with the Commission today. více


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