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European Commission Initiates Consultation on Proposed Ban of Bisphenol A in Food Packaging
European Commission Initiates Consultation on Proposed Ban of Bisphenol A in Food Packaging

European Commission Initiates Consultation on Proposed Ban of Bisphenol A in Food Packaging

  • 15-Feb-2024 2:47 PM
  • Journalist: Patricia Jose Perez

The European Commission is proposing a ban on the use of the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) in food and drink packaging, citing concerns about its impact on human health. This initiative follows findings from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), prompting the launch of a consultation process before the anticipated prohibition on BPA in food contact materials (FCMs). BPA is a commonly used component in the production of polycarbonate plastics, often found in items such as water bottles, as well as epoxy resins that coat some food cans and jar lids. The European Commission expresses worry that BPA can potentially "migrate" into the food and beverages they come into contact with.

The primary objective of this proposed ban is to prohibit the use of BPA in food contact materials, including plastic and coated packaging. The Commission aims to prevent the substitution of BPA with other potentially harmful substances. The announcement also mentions the consideration of exemptions, relaxations, and transitional periods for businesses to comply with the new regulations. The decision to revisit the authorization of BPA for use in various food contact materials and articles is based on the opinion of the Authority in 2023. The Commission suggests that even small amounts of the chemical could pose a risk to human health if they exceed the 'tolerable daily intake (TDI)' level.

To gather input and feedback on this proposal, the European Commission has initiated a consultation period, allowing stakeholders and the public to express their views. The consultation window is open for four weeks, concluding on March 8.

In September of the previous year, the European Environment Agency (EEA) released a report highlighting the potential presence of the hormone-disrupting chemical BPA in the bodies of almost all Europeans, posing a significant health risk to millions. The EEA reported that BPA levels were "well above acceptable health safety levels." A human biomonitoring research project conducted across 11 EU countries indicated that between 71% and 100% of participants were likely exposed to BPA levels exceeding safe health thresholds.

In response to these concerns, FoodDrinkEurope, an industry body, assured that food and drink manufacturers would fully comply with any new regulations. However, they also advocated for measures that are "proportionate" and realistic in addressing the challenges associated with BPA in food and drink packaging. As the consultation period progresses, the European Commission seeks to gather diverse perspectives and insights to inform the potential ban on Bisphenol A and contribute to the ongoing efforts to safeguard public health in the European Union.

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