Global Regulation of Food Contact Substances/Packaging

Course Code: FSC 890

Credits: 3

Food control officials worldwide continue to face great challenges as a result of globalization and free trade agreements. One of these challenges is to monitor large volumes of imported and exported foods.

Lack of a unified food classification system has always been a heavy burden on the food control authorities around the world. As such, regulation of food contact materials has become increasingly important in a global food supply. Emerging markets should have a food contact materials (FCM) regulatory system that meets international standards.

Students will sort through the maze of laws and approaches toward food contact substances and packaging around the world.

Knowledge of food contact substances and packaging law is important because:

  • Global sales of packaged food will increase to more than $2.6 billion in 2019;
  • The food and drink that we consume is in contact with 17 different materials, including paper, glass, plastic, tin, and ink;
  • There are literally thousands of food contact substances in our packaging;
  • Toxicological studies have been conducted on only some of these substances (i.e., bisphenol A, endocrine disrupting chemicals);
  • Most countries are now updating or writing new laws.

Some of the topics covered include:

  • Food contact substances (FCSs), including BPA, Phthalates, PFCs, Nanoparticles, Melamine, and others
  • Endocrine disrupting chemicals, and related health issues including cancer and reproductive failure
  • Codex Alimentarius and the Codex Committee on Contaminants in Food
  • Guidelines and Codes of Practice related to FCSs and FCMs
  • Recycling, plastics, nanomaterials, edible and biodegradable packaging
  • Regulations and perspectives for the US, EU, Canada, China, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, India, and others
  • Future developments in FCSs requiring regulations

This course is offered in the spring semester of odd-numbered years.

This course is tentatively offered under course code FSC 890 Section 736 in its first year. Please contact iflr@msu.edu for help with enrollment. 


Instructor