A press release issued by the EFTA Surveillance Authority earlier this month draws attention to the shortcomings in the regulations of how food is handled and packaged in Iceland. More specifically, it outlines the areas in which food handling and packaging in the country fails to meet EEA regulations.
The EFTA Surveillance Authority had visited Iceland in December 2012 to learn about official controls in place and to ensure that food was being packaged in accordance with EEA regulations. The Authority noted several shortcomings in how food is packaged in Iceland, most relating to the lack of regulation of polymide and melamine plastic containers, which can leak hazardous chemicals into foods.
The key problematic areas discovered by the Authority were that Icelandic parties (the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority and local health authorities) lack overview of producers and importers of materials that come in contact with food; there are no official controls in place to regulate polymide and melamine plastic imported from China (EEA regulations of such materials were meant to be implemented by 1 July 2011, but Iceland has thus far ignored them); and very limited official controls in place to monitor food producers and the materials that come in contact with their products.
The Authority has issued a full report to the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority and can take the matter to EFTA court if Iceland fails to comply with food regulations in the future.
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