Written answers

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine

Departmental Policies

Photo of Matt CarthyMatt Carthy (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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176. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he has considered a ban on polyflurinated alkyl substances in food packaging; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48711/21]

Photo of Charlie McConalogueCharlie McConalogue (Donegal, Fianna Fail)
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In the EU, Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 as amended lays down general requirements for all materials and articles intended for contact with food.

Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 requires that materials and articles, including active and intelligent materials and articles, are manufactured in compliance with good manufacturing practice so that, under normal or foreseeable conditions of use, they do not transfer their constituents to food in quantities which could: (a) endanger human health, or (b) bring about an unacceptable change in the composition of the food, or (c) bring about a deterioration in the organoleptic characteristics thereof.

EU Regulation 10/2011 as amended, on plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food contains a list of substances permitted for use in plastic FCMs, which includes several PFAS. Before substances are authorised for use in plastic food contact materials (FCMs), all substances require a risk assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to determine their safety, restrictions of use and other matters related to their safety, which manufacturers using them must comply with.

In Ireland, all EU legislation on FCMs is given effect by the European Union (Plastics and other materials) (Contact with food) Regulations 2017 (S.I. No. 49 of 2017) which was amended in 2018 and 2019.

Restrictions on the use of perfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS) are being considered across a number of pieces of legislation in the EU. In Ireland, multiple agencies and departments are involved in discussions on these measures, including my Department and the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.



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