Season’s Greetings! Ensuring Microbial Control for your Celebration Meals
Dear Microbial Control network,
The end-of-year celebrations are approaching. And it is fair to say this was a challenging year for many of us. As I am writing this, hope is increasing for the soon validation of vaccines that will allow our society to slowly but surely come back to a normal, or to a “new normal” as some say.
As, for many of us, the holiday season is coming, microbial control will be an important guest protecting you; as you wash your hands, unpack your food ingredients, clean your dining room and wash your dishes. As we reported earlier this year, food-borne diseases are still a very much concerning issue for our modern society, in Europe and the rest of the world. No continent is spared from infections that can cost billions per year in risk management measures, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Be assured that we will continue to work tirelessly with the food processing industry to keep your products safe. Please do not let harmful germs spoil your well-deserved holidays and your (safe) gatherings with family and friends.
I invite you to take a look at my key takeaways from the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak. Here I explain what Covid-19 means for microbial control and where we would like the discussions to evolve for the improved management of microbial control active ingredients, both in disinfection as well as in the preservation arenas. In addition, I call for the need to involve all necessary bodies and as well as industry in the process.
MCEC will come back in 2021 with a lot of new and exciting initiatives. In the meantime, it is essential for us all to remain vigilant, and to protect ourselves and those around us. Therefore, on behalf of MCEC, I would like to wish you a healthy holiday season.
Global Industry Leader for Industrial Preservation at DuPont Microbial Control, MCEC Chairman
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Summary of MCEC 2020 activities
2020 was a challenging year for many of us, for many reasons. And this was no exception to MCEC as it was the year where the group agreed on and implemented an entirely new advocacy and communication strategy.
Among the things we achieved this year:
- We launched a systematic and policy-oriented approach to social media;
- We engaged with European decision makers on the benefits of microbial control and the difficulties experienced with the Biocidal Products Regulation;
- We hooked our actions under the political agenda of the European Commission and contributed to several stakeholder consultations;
- We engaged with journalists from various areas and countries and got our views being published, like the Euractiv Opinion Editorial; and
- We presented in international conferences; like Biocides Europe 2020 (more on this below)
Surely, we expect 2021 to be another busy year: MCEC will reflect on pursuing the efforts as highlighted above and seek to further strengthen our visibility and credibility. In the policy arena, things will continue to become more interesting.
Following the European Commission’s publication of the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability in October, some of the announced initiatives will start rather soon than later. On our radar, the Sustainable Products Initiative will have to be carefully monitored. The development of classification criteria for persistent and mobile substances is another area of curiosity and interests. Finally, the preparation of the concepts for ‘essential uses’ and ‘safe and sustainable by design substances’ is undoubtedly a discussion to be followed.
To conclude, I can only highly recommend you to continue follow and support us in 2021, via our social media presence and our newsletter.
Paul Girard, MCEC Manager
The EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and biocides – the case of microbial control
On 2 December, MCEC presented at the Biocides Europe 2020 online conference organised by Chemical Watch. The presentation examined the possible impact or consequences of the recently published Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability on the microbial control industry. The speakers had the chance to participate in a 60-minute Q&A session with nearly 100 attendees.
A video of the presentation, given by MCEC Manager Paul Girard, was recorded and can be viewed on MCEC website here. The presentation can be downloaded on the same page.
Delivering more sustainable products, while ensuring existing regulatory frameworks are not undermined
In November, MCEC contributed to a public consultation launched by the European Commission on the ‘Sustainable Product Initiative’.
This initiative will consist of a legislative proposal to revise the European Eco-design Directive and propose additional legislative measures to make products placed on the EU market more sustainable, i.e. more durable, reusable, repairable, recyclable, and energy efficient. An emphasis on the presence of ‘harmful chemicals’ in products has been announced in the communication of this initiative.
MCEC contributed, in support of the European Commission’s policy goal to create a circular economy in Europe, focusing on enhanced reusability and recyclability of products. However, MCEC has stressed that references to ‘harmful chemicals’ should be clearly defined in the context of this initiative, as it is our conviction that many chemicals can be effective because of their hazardous properties. This is particularly relevant for the necessary biocidal substances that support sustainability aspects of the manufacturing, use and consumption of products covered by this policy initiative.
For more information about this initiative and its relevance to microbial control, please consult our article on the subject.
The Microbial Control Executive Council, or MCEC, is an initiative of the world’s leading companies developing and supplying microbial control technology and solutions. It was established in 2012 in order to promote the safe and effective use of microbial control technologies, and to create a reference point for stakeholders and the public alike to understand the benefits of microbial control technologies and the steps being taken to ensure the use of more sustainable biocides across all applications.
MCEC member companies, BASF, DuPont, ICL, LANXESS, Lonza and Troy Corporation, are committed to the betterment of public health and wellbeing through the advancement of sustainable microbial control technologies.
To learn more, follow us on Twitter, visit our website and our LinkedIn page.
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