Food Law News - EU - 2009

FSA Local Authority Letter (ENF/E/09/030), 30 June 2009

CONTAMINANTS - Temporary relaxation of the permitted level of Zearalonone (ZON) in high-fibre breakfast cereals and bran for use as an ingredient

Following recent discussions at the EU Expert Working Group of Agricultural Contaminants and agreement of the Member States at the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) on 19 June, a temporary increase in the permitted level for ZON to 100 ppb for high-fibre breakfast cereals (excluding maize based) produced before 31 October 2009, has been agreed. It has also been agreed that there should be a temporary permitted level of 125 ppb for ZON in wheat bran for use as an ingredient for the same duration (i.e. for foodstuffs produced before 31 October 2009). These temporary levels apply immediately although there will be no amendment of the legislation.

As the legislation will not be amended, the Food Standards Agency recommends that enforcement authorities take a pragmatic approach to the enforcement of ZON limits following the recommendation of SCoFCAH.

The Agency conducted a detailed risk assessment using its own data and proposed a precautionary compromise position to industry and the European Commission to ensure that consumer safety would not be compromised, whilst ensuring production of certain breakfast cereals could continue. The agreed temporary limits are based on the Agency’s proposal.

Annex I contains a table detailing the changes for easy reference and Annex II provides a copy of the resolution of the SCoFCAH for information.

A copy of the letter, containing the Annexes is availabl on this site. See: ZON Letter

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