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20 January, 2022 Legal Update

Food Safety Update: January 2022

Food Safety Update: January 2022

Discover this month's food safety update with news from China, the UK, and the World Health Organization. 

China: Agricultural Product Quality and Safety Law Revised Draft

According to a recent USDA GAIN report, China has published a revised draft to replace the currently effective law from 2006, “Agricultural Product Quality and Safety Law of the People's Republic of China”.
Some of the major changes from the revised draft in comparison to the original 2006 law include:
  • It expands the scope of “agricultural products” to “primary products originated from planting, forestry, animal husbandry and fishery, etc., i.e., the plants, animals, microbes and their products obtained from agricultural activities” (Article 2);
  • The revised law reflects the guiding principle that producers and operators of agricultural products are to be held accountable for quality and safety of their products (Article 7 and Article 27).
  • Article 24 urges producers, operators, and users of agricultural inputs (pesticides, fertilizers, agriculture-use film) to properly collect and dispose packages and waste of such inputs.
  • Article 34 provides that China reinforces protection and management of geographic identification of agricultural products. 
More information

EFSA: Assessment of an Application on a Detoxification Process of Groundnut Press Cake for Aflatoxins by Ammoniation

The European Commission requested the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) to provide a scientific output on an application for a detoxification process of groundnut press cake for aflatoxins by ammoniation. Precisely, the authorities require that the feed decontamination process is compliant with the acceptability criteria specified in the Commission Regulation (EU) 2015/786 of 19 May 2015.
More information

EFSA: Draft Opinion Proposes Lowering the Tolerable Daily Intake of Bisphenol A

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has undertaken a re-evaluation process of the risks of bisphenol A in food, and proposes to considerably lower the tolerable daily intake compared to its previous assessment in 2015.
EFSA’s conclusions on bisphenol A are detailed in a draft scientific opinion that is open for public consultation until February 22, 2022. All interested parties are encouraged to contribute to the consultation.
More information 

EU: New Ochratoxin A MLs Draft

According to FRUCOM, the Commission has drafted a new regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 as regards maximum levels of ochratoxin A in certain foodstuffs.
Taking into account that ochratoxin A has been found in foods for which no maximum level has been established yet and which contribute to the human exposure to ochratoxin A, the Commission is to set a maximum level also for these foods such as dried fruits and pistachio nuts, among other products.
The draft presents the following new MLs (µg/kg):
  • Dried vine fruit (currants, raisins and sultanas and dried figs): 8.0
  • Other dried fruit: 2.0
  • Pistachios to be subjected to sorting, or other physical treatment, before placing on the market for final consumer or use as an ingredient in food: 10.0
  • Pistachios placed on the market for final consumer or use as an ingredient in foodstuffs: 5.0
The draft is expected to be voted on soon. The new Ochratoxin A regulation would apply from January 1, 2023.

UK: Food Security Report 2021

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs of the United Kingdom published on December 22, 2021, a report setting out a study of statistical data related with food security. Since the approval of the Agricultural Act on 2020, the UK Food Security Report analyzes trends that are relevant to food security.
Themes include:
  • Global Food Availability
  • UK Food Supply Sources
  • Food Supply Chain Resilience
  • Food Security at Household Level
  • Food Safety and Consumer Confidence 

WHO: Draft Global Strategy for Food Safety 2022-2030

The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed its draft food safety strategy for the period 2022-2030.
The strategy builds on five interlinked strategic priorities and “aims to build forward-looking, evidence-based, people-centered, and cost-effective food safety systems with coordinated governance and adequate infrastructures”.
The five strategic priorities are: 
  • Strengthening national food control systems.
  • Identifying and responding to food safety challenges resulting from global changes and food systems transformation.
  • Improving the use of food chain information, scientific evidence, and risk assessment in making risk management decisions.
  • Strengthening stakeholder engagement and risk communication.
  • Promoting food safety as an essential component in domestic, regional and international food trade.
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