The use of a chemical marker that had been proposed by the JRC Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) for the reliable identification of animal by-products has become a compulsory standard in Europe. According to a Commission regulation published in December, glyceroltriheptanoate (GTH) has to be used as marker for those animal by-products that must not be used in animal nutrition.
On 13 February, the European Commission decided to require compulsory certification for the imports of Chinese rice products that could contain the unauthorised GMO Bt63. The decision has been taken after rice products -originating in, or consigned from, China and containing the unauthorised genetically modified rice “Bt 63”- were discovered in the EU market between 2006 and 2007.
On today's European Consumer Day, following the motto "Know Your Rights, Use Your Rights", the European Commission recalls that consumers through their choices are the force that drives the market. This year's campaign is an appeal to consumers to take power back in their hands, to get informed and to use their power of comparison and of choice.
On 10 and 11 April 2008 the JRC Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC) hosts a meeting of the EU representatives of the European Forum of Deposit Insurers (EFDI). The meeting brings together representatives of the EU Deposit Guarantee Schemes (DGS), of the European Central Banks, and of the European Commission.
As part of the rapid response to the melamine food scandal, the JRC Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements (IRMM) has set-up a website to gather information and review methods to detect melamine in food and feed products.
The European Commission has put forward a revision of EU rules on deposit protection that puts into action commitments made at the last EU Finance Ministers meeting on 7 October 2008. The new rules are designed to improve depositor protection and to maintain the confidence of depositors in the financial safety net and the proposals are largely based on the work done in this field by the JRC's Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC).
The International Cooperation on Cosmetic Regulation (ICCR) held their third annual meeting from 9-11 September in Tokyo, Japan to discuss issues related to cosmetic and cosmetic-like drug products.
The Chinese Academy of Inspection and Quarantine and the JRC Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP) have kicked off collaboration to support risk management and improve consumer protection through new approaches in the areas of nanotechnology and alternative methods to animal testing. On 6 June, the organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the occasion of the EU-China Food Safety Scientific Seminar at the Shanghai World Expo. Both institutions provide technical support for policy makers and aim to reinforce their co-operation in scientific research for consumer products safety.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is extensively used in the synthesis of plastics and resins, implying a widespread consumer exposure through various products coming in contact with food, such as baby bottles or food cans. Despite several risk assessment studies performed over the last ten years by different regulatory bodies worldwide, there is so far no agreement about the impact of BPA on human health. The review report "Bisphenol A and baby bottles: challenges and perspectives", published by the JRC Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP), provides an overview of the issues at the base of the on-going debate and highlights some areas of uncertainty, which may be the subject of future investigations.