11am, 21st October 2021
- Clodagh Crehan (Chair) FSAI
- Alison Connor FSAI
- Anne Marie Boland FSAI
- Sinéad Murphy FSAI
- Gail Carroll FSAI
- Mary O’Connell Motherway FSAI
- Joanne Barry Barrys
- Clare Briody Tesco
- Peter Wight M&S
- Antoinette Kennedy Aldi Rep
- Katie Creamer Aldi
- Aoife Noonan Lidl
- Samira Nicolo Retail Ireland
- Elaine Clohosey BWG
- Aileen Nolan Dunnes Stores
- Lucy O’Connor Musgrave
- Sheila Nolan* DAFM
- Colm O’Bric* DAFM
- Lorraine Fitzgerald* DAFM
- Ben McGinn Gala
- Lynda Kenny Musgrave
- Jenni O’Brien Avoca
- Stacey Forsyth Circle K
- Tara Buckley RGDATA
*agenda item 4 only
1. Welcome and Introductions
The Chair welcomed Gail Carroll, new Director of Regulatory Affairs and Compliance Building. Gail updated the Group on her new role in the FSAI and it was noted that the food incidents team has moved to Audit, Incidents & Investigations. All those present introduced themselves.
2. Probiotics and Food Supplements
Mary O’Connell Motherway has been seconded to the FSAI from UCD for 2 years. Mary gave a presentation on the Assessment of the Safety of Probiotic Food Supplements on Sale in Ireland. The report on the assessment is currently being drafted and will be published.
Sinéad Murphy provided an update to the Group on CBD on behalf of Dr. Pat O’Mahony, Chief Specialist Food Technology.
Novel foods are defined in Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 and may not be placed on the EU market until or unless they are authorised.
With regards to CBD and hemp derived products the situation in the UK is different where they may be marketed if the business had submitted a novel food application by a certain deadline.
Where hemp derived products or CBD oil are subjected to certain forms of extraction, concentration or purification techniques, the purified component(s) may differ significantly from the unprocessed product in terms of composition, nutritional value and level of undesirable components. Therefore, in order to safeguard consumers a safety assessment and authorisation under the Novel Food Regulation is required.
Many if not most CBD products sold by retailers in Ireland are imported and have been refined (CO2, ethanol etc.) or have had purified CBD added to them, all of which are unauthorised novel foods and should not be on the EU market.
In Ireland, unrefined hemp-derived foods are not considered novel, but this is not necessarily the situation in other Member States where only hemp seed and hemp seed-derived foods are considered not novel foods.
Cold pressed hemp oil or products containing cold pressed hemp oil that have not been further refined to a significant extent are not considered novel.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is a cannabinoid found in the cannabis plant and is a narcotic drug (psychotropic) with zero tolerance under the Irish Misuse of Drugs Act 1977. It also does not fall within the scope of the definition of “Food” under Regulation 178 in the EU and is considered a contaminant, as yet there is no permitted level or threshold established if found in food and possession is unlawful except under licence.
FSAI is working with the EHS to remove unauthorised novel foods from the Irish market.
If a retailer is unsure whether a prospective CBD or hemp-derived food is an unauthorised novel food please contact FSAI.
Action: FSAI to summarise a note on CBD for circulation. – see above
Noted: FSAI has an FAQ on the website. https://www.fsai.ie/faq/cbd_oils_and_hemp_oils_legal_status.html
Noted: If the Group has any queries please raise them here or direct to Pat.
4. Barn Eggs
FSAI welcomed Sheila Nolan, Colm O’Bric and Lorraine Fitzgerald, DAFM to the meeting. DAFM gave a presentation to the Group on the labelling of eggs when birds are housed as a disease prevention measure. It was noted that birds can be housed for up to 16 weeks and maintain Free Range status, however if the housing order extends beyond 16 weeks – eggs from these birds can no longer be labelled as free range and must be marketed as barn eggs. One temporary solution is to over label current free range egg label but DAFM reported that there is a risk of consumers being misled if not applied correctly. It was noted that communication is key to this issue. DAFM has communicated with packers and needs to communicate with FSAI and Retailers going forward to keep everyone informed.
Action: Barn Eggs to become a standing agenda item.
Noted: DAFM welcomed any queries in the future.
5. Food Fraud Strategic
Assessment Anne Marie advised the group she has moved from the Brexit team into the Audit, Incidents & Investigations. Anne Marie gave a presentation on the Irish Food Fraud Strategic Assessment being carried out by FSAI. FSAI wants to provide a picture of the current and likely future threats to Irish consumer’s health and interests from food fraud. This baseline study will cover the period from 31st of Dec 2019 to 1 Jan 2021. FSAI welcomes hearing about your experience, knowledge and expert awareness of food fraud vulnerabilities in the food chain and how you protect your business against food fraud.
Action: Members to contact email@example.com
6. Minutes of the Meeting 20th May 2021
The minutes 20th May 2021 were agreed.
7. Matters Arising
There is no update on Best reMap.
Flour has been raised at the Standing committee meeting again and FSAI is awaiting written information from the Commission. A query was raised regarding the free movement of goods in Northern Ireland as the FSAI note on the website covers flour from GB.
Action: FSAI will send information to the Group when we have it.
9. Date for next meeting
There will be 3 meetings in 2022. Action: FSAI to send out meeting dates.
FSAI reported on the Farm to Fork Action Plan regarding a healthier and environmentally friendly food system focussing on topics such healthy eating, reducing food waste and the introduction of a legislative framework for sustainable food systems
Impact Assessment – Consultation Clodagh updated the Group on this inception impact assessment which was published by the Commission at the end of September and will circulate the link and questions to the Group. The closing date for response is 23rd October 2021, however FSAI welcomed any thoughts or considerations the Group may have.
Action: FSAI will send out a briefing note with information on the baseline, voluntary measures, reinforce legislation and new comprehensive legislation on sustainability.
Noted: FSAI will keep the Group informed going forward.