PFAS: European Commission adopts new rules against dangerous contaminants in food  

07 December 2022

The European Commission adopted new rules to protect citizens against chemicals that can have negative consequences on the immune system, the development of foetuses and babies, or cholesterol. The new rules limit the levels of four environmental chemicals, perfluoroalkylated substances (PFAS), in certain foods (in eggs, fish meat, crustaceans, bivalve molluscs, meat and offal of farmed and wild animals). They will protect consumers in the EU by reducing their exposure to these harmful chemicals.

The four chemicals in question – Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS) – are also known as “forever chemicals,” as their chemical composure does not allow their breakdown. The Member States have unanimously supported the new rules which are based on sound scientific assessment from EFSA. The new rules will apply as from 1 January 2023.

They reflect an important commitment made by the Commission in the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability to address the presence of PFAS in food by introducing limits in the legislation on food contaminants. For more information, please consult this page.