European safety watchdogs
reaffirm belief in safety of BPA
of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Quality-Safety/European-safety-watchdogs-reaffirm-belief-in-safety-of-BPA
By Rory Harrington, 02-Jun-2009
The European Food Safety Authority
(EFSA) and the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) have no plans to re-examine
their advice on bisphenol A (BPA) despite mounting concern in the United
States over the substance.
Both bodies have reconfirmed their approval for the use of the
chemical in food contact materials such as hard, clear food containers and
sealants in the linings of food and beverage cans. In January 2007, EFSA
set a permanent Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) of 0.05 milligram/kg body
EFSA told FoodProductionDaily.com that it had not seen any
information that would lead it to question its previous findings. The FSA
said it did not believe consumers in the UK were exposed to levels of BPA
that could be considered dangerous.
The declarations from both the European and UK food safety watchdogs
come as the campaign to outlaw the chemical gathers pace in North America
amid growing anxiety from consumers and politicians.
Last year, Canada became the first country in the world to ban the
import and sale polycarbonate baby bottles containing BPA. The government
also pledged to spend $1.7m over three years to study the chemical. Last
month, the US state of Minnesota passed a similar ban, closely followed by
the city of Chicago. Further bans are under consideration in California,
New York and Connecticut. A nationwide ban has also been proposed to
In March, six baby bottle manufacturers confirmed their intention to
stop using BPA in their bottles sold in the US but will continue to sell
the bottles in the UK. Major retailers and manufacturers, such as Wal-Mart
and Toys R Us, have promised to phase out the use of BPA in children's
A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health confirmed
the substance can leach from polycarbonate drinking bottles into humans,
prompting renewed calls for a ban from the anti-BPA lobby. The study
revealed that participants who drank for a week from polycarbonate bottles
and baby bottles showed a two-thirds increase of in their urine.
EFSA confirms no change on BPA
Nevertheless, EFSA confirmed that it remained convinced that its
previous opinion remains valid.
“EFSA constantly reviews new scientific information as it becomes
available with a view to revising its opinions if this is considered
necessary,” a spokesman for the body told
He added: “None of the studies which have so far been published
have brought into question EFSA’s previous findings on BPA.
“EFSA is aware of the study recently published by the Harvard School
of Public Health and has already considered different exposure pathways to
BPA, including polycarbonate bottles, in its opinions published in January
2007 and July 2008. These opinions assumed much higher exposure levels than
the ones reported in the Harvard study.”
EFSA’s expert panel on food contact materials has an on-going task
to assess new materials and re-examine the safety of materials which are
already in use when this is considered necessary.
A spokesman for the FSA said: “The view of the FSA on BPA has not
changed. We do not believe that UK consumers are exposed to levels of BPA
that would be considered a danger.”