A plastics ingredient linked to chemicals banned in the European Union (EU) for toys can continue to be used by the food industry primarily for food packaging.

The conclusion follows a detailed European Commission review of certain phthalates and other plasticisers that have been restricted over their incorporation in toys mouthed by children, sometimes causing illness.

One of these potential problem chemicals is monochloroacetic acid, used as an anti-microbial additive and a can coating for food packaging (for instance as a modifier for resins). The Commission dismissed concerns here, which could have sparked restrictions for the food sector because the acid does not have “significant consumer use in the EU”.