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Parliamentary questions
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15 January 2020
Answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-003738/2019

Absorber packs are subject to EU legislation on food contact materials(1) (FCM). Under this legislation, there is a general provision establishing that any FCM should not release its constituents in quantities that can endanger human health(2). Therefore, there are no rules explicitly forbidding the release of absorbing fibres to food.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assessed the safety of these fibres in the context of the preparation of a positive list of substances authorised for use in active and intelligent FCM(3).

EFSA concluded that such fibres should not come in direct contact with the food(4). Based on the aforementioned provision protecting human health and the EFSA assessment, the competent authorities of the Member States are responsible to consider possible action against absorber pads releasing these fibres to food.

The Commission will remind the Member States of their responsibilities in this respect during the next working group on FCM . The implementation of a positive list under the legislation on active and intelligent materials will be considered following the completion of the ongoing evaluation of the legislation on FCM(5).

(2)Article 3 of Regulation (EC) No 1935/2004 on materials and articles intended to come into contact with food (OJ L 338, 13.11.2004, p. 4)
(3)On the basis of Article 5 of COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 450/2009 on active and intelligent materials and articles intended to come into contact with food (OJ L 153, 30.5.2009, P. 3)
(4)e.g. EFSA Journal 2013; 11(4): 3154; EFSA Journal 2018; 16(11): 5448
(5)See: https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/chemical_safety/food_contact_materials/evaluation_e
Last updated: 15 January 2020Legal notice