New maximum levels for morphine and codeine
Opium poppy (Papaver Somniferum) has been known as a cultivated and intoxicating plant in many cultures in Europe and also Asia since the Neolithic and is considered one of the most important medicinal plants in pharmaceutical history. Until today, the analgesic effect is mainly used against strong or long-lasting pain. This effect is due to the natural components of the dried milk juice of the poppy, the opiates. These include morphine and codeine.
Ethylene oxide is a plant protection agent that is not permitted in the EU and has been used, among other things, to sterilise spices. In Germany, its use in the food sector has been banned since 1981, as ethylene oxide is classified as mutagenic. Since the end of 2020, numerous warnings with positive findings in sesame seeds can be found in the European rapid alert system. The background to this is that ethylene oxide is very suitable for antimicrobial treatment and is also approved for the US market, for example.
FAO/WHO expert panel recommends the use of allergen-specific reference doses based on ED05
An expert panel jointly initiated by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and WHO (World Health Organization) published on 20 August 2021 a summary of recommendations regarding thresholds for the protection of allergy sufferers and the analytical methods needed for testing to detect allergens.
The convening of the Panel was based on specific requests for scientific expertise from the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene (CCFH) and the Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL) in 2018 and 2019.
FAO/WHO expert group supplements the recently recommended allergen-specific reference doses based on the ED05 for milk and sesame
As we reported last year, an FAO/WHO expert group on "Risk Assessment of Food Allergens" initiated by the Codex Alimentarius Commission published recommendations for allergen-specific thresholds (protein-based) for the labelling of unintentional allergen entries based on the ED05 (ED = eliciting dose).
ECJ judgement: Indication of vitamins in the list of ingredients
The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) ruled that the list of ingredients of a food does not have to contain the specific name of the vitamin compound. The customary name such as "vitamin D" or "vitamin A" is therefore sufficient.