Third meeting of Swiss microplastics researchers

Scientists present and discuss ongoing projects and findings on microplastics; includes research focuses on environmental abundance and health

EFSA stakeholder workshop on small particles and nanoparticles in food

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) presentations provide guidance on small particles in food and feed applications (i) evaluating the potential presence of particles in ‘conventional’ materials and (ii) how to perform nano-specific risk assessment; stakeholders share experience and discuss practices to implement guidance cost-effectively

Studies examine bio-based active packaging and drivers to mitigate pollution

Literature review explores opportunities of bio-based active materials in food packaging applications and the circular economy; demonstrates high research interest in the topic over last 20 years; finds agro-industrial waste as promising, renewable, and environmentally friendly resource for bio-based materials; study finds circular economy to be the focus of perspective articles to mitigate plastic pollution but mismatch with psychosocial research

EFSA updates guidance on nanomaterials in the food chain

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) releases guidance documents on the technical requirements to establish the presence of small particles in food products, and how to perform risk assessments of nanomaterials in the food chain; includes migration of particles from food contact materials; agency reports on outcomes from the public consultation period

EU consults on nanomaterial definition

European Commission launches targeted stakeholder consultation to review 2011 recommendation on a nanomaterial definition for use across regulations; feedback being accepted until June 30, 2021; recent review article finds nanomaterials primarily used as antimicrobials in food packaging, applications could expand in future pending safety uncertainties

EFSA determines titanium dioxide not safe as food additive

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) releases new assessment of titanium dioxide as a food additive, could not rule out genotoxicity; change in opinion from last assessment in 2016; announcement does not affect food contact materials

ECHA proposes not approving 4 silver compounds in FCMs

European Chemicals Agency’s (ECHA) Biocidal Products Committee (BPC) announces opinion not approving silver compounds for application in food contact materials (FCMs); includes silver zinc zeolite, silver zeolite, silver copper zeolite, silver sodium hydrogen zirconium phosphate; finds risk unacceptable for human health; next meeting scheduled in June 2021

NGOs request clarification on nanometal biocides in products

Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) with 12 other NGOs publish an open letter to European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) , request clarification on regulation and risk management of products treated with nanosilver, zinc oxide, copper biocides; antimicrobial resistance, human health effects unclear

EU surveys consumers on nanotechnology

European Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON) publishes survey that reveals 87% of consumers from five EU countries wish for better labelling of everyday products containing nanotechnology

FDA report on nanotechnology

US Food and Drug Administration reports on advancements in the field of nanotechnology, its role in advancing public health through better regulation; focus on interdisciplinary collaborations and regulatory science research