Think Tank: Europe BPA sector slams restrictions

19 April 2013 09:28  [Source: ICB]

European bisphenol A (BPA) industry players have expressed concern over proposed and already passed legislation that may restrict the use of BPA in food packaging across Europe.

Buyers and traders of BPA have reacted to the latest statement by French food administration agency ANSES, which said on 9 April that BPA is dangerous to health and carcinogenic. France banned BPA from all contact with food in 2012 in legislation due to come into force in 2015.

Supermarket shopper Rex Features

Rex Features

French supermarkets will not be allowed to use BPA in food packaging from 2015

Industry players are now worried that more countries will follow France's lead and will adapt similar legislation banning BPA from food contact. ANSES carried out risk assessments that took into account ways in which humans can be exposed to BPA, such as eating or drinking food stored in packaging.

One conclusion from the agency's latest assessments is that "under certain circumstances, the exposure of pregnant women to BPA could pose a potential risk for the unborn child. The identified effects relate to a change in the structure of the mammary gland in the unborn child that could promote subsequent tumour development. The risks potentially affect children of both sexes."

ANSES admitted that there are many uncertainties surrounding the results, the testing environment and the current state of scientific knowledge. It added that BPA poses a "negligible" risk to brain and behaviour, to metabolism and obesity, and to the female reproductive system.

In response, the European plastics industry, represented by PlasticsEurope and the BPA Coalition, slammed the report and said that the outcomes were biased and based on a "selective approach" to research. "The studies selected as a starting point have already been evaluated and judged to be inadequate for regulatory risk assessment purposes on multiple occasions by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) and other global regulatory bodies."

The BPA coalition added: "The ANSES conclusion is in direct contrast to the most recent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) interim update..., which is taking a holistic approach towards the evaluation of the most recent science on BPA."

Market participants in the European BPA industry said that the controversy surrounding the subject is very harmful to the industry as there is currently no safe, well-tested and proven replacement for BPA. "To date BPA is the most tested chemical and the replacements that exist are far more expensive and are much less tested," a BPA trader said.

By: Janos Gal
+44 208 652 3214

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