Europe producers 'deeply disturbed' by BPA ban - PlasticsEurope

26 November 2010 15:50  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Producers of polycarbonate (PC) and bisphenol A (BPA) are “deeply disturbed” by the European Commission’s decision to ban BPA in infant feeding bottles from March 2011, a trade association said on Friday.

PlasticsEurope said the move was in direct contradiction to recently published assessments of BPA by two leading food safety and health agencies.

It said the Commission had ignored a recent report from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which concluded that there was no reason to change the present safety limit of BPA, as well as conclusions by a World Health Organization (WHO) expert group that said the initiation of public health measures would be premature.

“This decision undermines the systems and processes which ensure the safety of food and food contact materials in the EU,” said Jasmin Bird of PlasticsEurope’s PC/BPA-group.

“The precautionary principle should be applied when there are large gaps in scientific data to understand a substance; however, for BPA the database is very comprehensive, a fact also noted by both EFSA and WHO,” she added.

Bird said the industry strongly urged the “sound science” principle to remain the basis of regulatory decisions.

EU member states will have to ban the manufacture of PC infant feeding bottles containing BPA from 1 March 2011, and from 1 June imports of these bottles into the EU and their sales in the union would also be prohibited.

The Commission said the decision followed months of discussion and exchanges of views between its services, the EFSA, member states and the industry.

“In... the recent opinion of EFSA, I had stressed that there were areas of uncertainty, deriving from new studies, which showed that BPA might have an effect on the development, immune response or tumour promotion,” said John Dalli, Commissioner in charge of Health and Consumer Policy.

EU member states France and Denmark already have restrictions in place for the use of BPA in baby bottles.

In October, Canada listed the chemical as a toxic substance and banned its use in infant feeding bottles.

The move was then slated by US chemical industry trade group American Chemistry Council (ACC), which said the decision was contrary to the weight of worldwide scientific evidence and would confuse the public.

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By: Hilde Ovrebekk
+44 20 8652 3214

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