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Industry welcomes EFSA bisphenol A verdict as boost to consumer confidence

01-Oct-2010
Last updated on 01-Oct-2010 at 13:29 GMT

Industry bodies on both sides of the Atlantic have hailed the verdict from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that current safe intake levels for bisphenol A (BPA) should remain unchanged.

Packaging, chemical and plastics trade associations said the opinion would reassure consumers that the substance was safe at present levels in food contact materials.

Tolerable daily intake

Europe’s top food safety watchdog said yesterday that the present tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 0.05mg/kg bodyweight should be maintained. The body delivered its conclusion after reviewing hundreds of studies and scientific documents on the chemical.

“EFSA’s latest advice reaffirms that consumers can continue to use BPA-based products with confidence,” said Jasmin Bird of the PlasticsEurope Polycarbonate/Bisphenol A industry group.

This means that the established TDI for BPA provides a sufficient margin of safety for the protection of the consumer, added the trade group.

Bird added: “An approach grounded in sound science rather than politics is the only one that can provide consumers with the reassurance that the products they buy are safe.”

The American Chemistry Council highlighted that this was the third time EFSA had found that current exposure levels to the substance posed no threat to human health.

"For the third time since 2007, and as a result of a comprehensive review of more than 800 recent studies, EFSA has again confirmed that bisphenol A (BPA) is safe for use in products that come in contact with food," said the ACC’s Steven G. Hentges. "Consumers around the world can be reassured that EFSA's intense scientific scrutiny continues to reaffirm the safety of BPA in food contact applications, and again concludes that established safe intake levels for BPA provide a sufficient margin of safety for protection of consumers, including for infants and young children.”

The North American Metal Packaging Alliance (NAMPA) hailed the opinion as significant and said it should restore consumer confidence in the continued use of BPA in food contact materials.

“This comprehensive review by the major food regulatory agency in Europe - the birthplace of the ‘precautionary principle’ - is significant and should provide reassurance to those in the United States seeking legislative action on BPA that such restrictions are scientifically unjustified,” said NAMPA chairman Dr John Rost. “EFSA’s decision to maintain the current TDI after thoroughly reviewing all the current scientific evidence on BPA is a clear indication that EFSA believes BPA is safe as used in food and beverage contact applications.”

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