Markey’s manufacturing claims form the basis of three petitions, lodged with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), calling for a complete ban on the use of BPA in canned products and reusable food and beverage packaging.
The congressman’s appeal came in the wake of a proposal by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) for a limited ban on the use of BPA in polycarbonate baby bottles – which Markey claims has opened the door for a farther reaching bar on use of the substance.
The ACC, which represents BPA producers in the US, asked the FDA to ban the use of the chemical in polycarbonate bottles and sippy cups to provide “clarity” to consumers that the chemical was no longer used in these products.
In the FDA-lodged petitions, Markey suggested that the “rationale used in the ACC petition can be extended.”
“The key question that needs to be asked in relation to this petitions are whether the argument is valid. Is BPA still used in packaging? The evidence is not there to support the petitions,” ACC polycarbonate/BPA global group executive director Steve Hentges told FoodProductionDaily.com.
“Do the facts support his petitions? At the moment I think they do not. I think in general the evidence he has put forward does not support his assertions.”
“The case that he makes is not that strong. It is up to the FDA to decide, but based on the current evidence put forward in the petitions, it is not that strong.”
Once submitted, the FDA must approve the petitions. One approved they are published on the Federal Register.
“If the FDA decides to then publish the petitions in the Federal Register, it is open to public opinion.”
“At that time, any relevant information can be put forward. And if that moment comes, I suspect we would have the relevant information and evidence to provide.”
Extend ACC rationale
Commenting on the original ACC proposed BPA ban, Markey said: “Although the Petitioner [Markey] concurs with the goals of the petition, the Petitioner also believes the rationale used in the ACC petition can be extended to support a prohibition on BPA in other small reusable household food and beverage containers.”
Hentges added that the motivation behind its proposal was to produce consistency in legislation and regulations across the US, and that it wasn’t meant to be built on.
“We were in the situation where government agencies continued to reaffirm that products containing BPA were safe. These baby and infant formula bottles were no longer on the market but the controversy continued.”
“We just wanted to clarify that these products were no longer on the market,” he added.