Food Law News - EU - 2007

FSA Interested Party Letter, 28 September 2007

CONTAMINANTS - Maximum levels of Fusarium toxins in maize and maize based products

Copies of the following are available on this site:

A copy of the EU Regulation, published in the Official Journal on 29 September can be seen using this link: Official Jounal

I wrote to you in August informing you that the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health had adopted the proposal to revise limits for Fusarium toxins in maize and maize products. The adopted proposal will be published as a Regulation in the Official Journal (OJ) of the European Union shortly.

I am now writing to inform you that the Regulation will be coming into force on 1 October and we will be making provisions for its enforcement in England by virtue of a Statutory Instrument which is due to come into force on 13 November.

Owing to the recent holiday period and to translation delays within the Commission, there will be a particularly short timescale after publication in which to implement enforcement provisions for the EC measures within our own domestic legislation before the revised limits apply from the beginning of October. We wish to avoid any undue delay in implementing the measures so as to provide Local Authorities and Port Health Authorities with the necessary powers to enforce the Regulation in a timely manner. This will ensure that any difficulties for them or potential confusion for industry will not arise and will also ensure the continued provision of protection of public health.

Therefore, due to these time constraints, we will not be formally consulting on the Regulation having consulted informally and sought your views on this proposal throughout the negotiation stages by way of Food Standard Agency's Rapidly Developing Policy consultation scheme. However we are still interested in receiving any comments you may have at this stage about the enforcement measures provided by the Statutory Instrument. Please send comments to the address below by Monday 15th October. The introduction of maximum levels for Fusarium toxins in food and a Regulatory Impact Assessment was previously consulted on formally in 2006.

Summary of the Provisions

The original provisions for Fusarium toxins in food were laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1881/2006, which came into force on 1 July 2006. However, the limits set for Fusarium toxins in maize and maize products specifically have been reassessed this year in light of new information. Revised limits have therefore now been adopted in this latest EU amending Regulation. This new Regulation will be published shortly and will apply retrospectively from 1 July 2007 on entering into force. However, the new limits for deoxynivalenol, zearalenone and fumonisins in maize and maize products will all apply from 1 October 2007.

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