In Japan, the food contact materials are regulated by national legislation with supplementary voluntary standards. The Food Sanitation Act regulates foods, food additives, apparatus and packages/containers and comes with additional specifications and amendments. The regulatory requirements are part of It is the food safety basic law. The Notification No.370 enacted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare establishes the specifications and standards for foods, food additives and other materials.
Japan does not have a "positive list" of substances that are permitted for use in articles that contact food, or require premarket approval or review of food-contact substances prior to their use in the marketplace. The Food Sanitation Law authorizes the establishment of specifications for food containers and packaging, and the raw materials used to manufacture the articles with food contact functions and purposes. The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (MHLW)—under the Pharmaceutical and Food Safety Bureau, Department of Food Safety, Standards and Evaluation Division—is responsible governmental body for developing those specifications.
Currently, there are three specifications for containers and packaging materials have been established for particular type of food contact articles as follows:
1. The general specifications that apply to all food containers and packaging material primarily address the use of certain metals, particularly lead, in various food contact applications.
2. Material-specific standards are in place for a variety of articles, such as metal cans, glass/ceramic/enamel articles, and rubber articles, including nursing apparatuses. Standards also exist for synthetic polymers generally, as well as for 15 specific resins.
3. End use application, including apparatus and containers or packaging used in retort applications (except for cans and bottles), soft drinks, flavored ice, food sold in vending machines, and soft drink dispersers.
However, certain highly respected Japanese trade associations develop a “positive list” of food contact materials in reference to the authorized material list endorsed by US-FDA in, Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) and the additive list, those allowed as direct food additives, and substances listed under European Union and national legislation of the UK, Germany, Italy, Holland, Belgium and France, but excluding the list of monomer.
The organizations/bodies of the voluntary food contact material safety standard includes the following industrial and trade associations in Japan:
1. JHOSPA was established in 1973, and is represented by a variety of raw material suppliers, compounding and processing companies, converters, distributors, and food companies, thereby representing all aspects of the supply chain.
2. JHPA was established in 1967, and is composed of both companies that manufacture materials used to produce PVC and companies that manufacture finished PVC products.
3. JPA was established in 1997, JPA first published its "Voluntary Standard of Paper and Paperboard Intended for Use in Food Contact" in May 2007.
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