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Posted 07/30/2019 in Category 1

Law for Food Packaging

The ability to contact food packaging was already taken into account in the first major French law on fraud and hygiene of foodstuffs of 1 August 1905. This regulation hardly changed until the 1960s.

During the 1970s the demand for security addressed by the consumer associations to the public authorities led them to set up two major categories of regulation:

  • For food contact materials, required "inert";
  • For chemicals carefully classified according to the hazards and risks they presented.

It did not occur to anyone to mix the two regulations:

The ability to contact food was ensured by examining a file to verify the inertia according to methods defined by the administration. The goal was to ensure that stomachs were not found in food packaging with substances that migrated;

chemicals were classified as dangerous substances because of the serious risks involved, such as intoxication, burns or genetic mutations. The aim was to bring the legislation of the Member States closer to a common nomenclature for dangerous chemicals and, consequently, to be able to take security measures in a harmonized way in the Member States.

From different objectives the two regulations converged over the decades because the evolution of research methods and the expectations of the populations evolved.

This convergence has found its legal outcome with the European REACH Regulation 1907/2006 of December 18, 2006, which requires manufacturers to have more knowledge about the products they market so that they can bring more security to users. This regulation concerns primarily dangerous substances but in a general way all substances, including the constituents of packaging intended for food contact.

But nevertheless, it is through the texts of rights specific to food contact that consumer safety is ensured in a specific way.

Here are the main legal rules of a regulation, today much more complex than in 1905. The objective is to help the reader to:

  • Find themselves in the modern legislative maquis constituted by European directives and regulations and by French decrees and decrees;
  • Know which texts have been repealed and which are the main texts applicable on December 30, 2011.
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