F.D.A. affirms B.P.A. safety, but seeks to limit exposure
January 26, 2010
WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services and The Food and Drug Administration have affirmed Bisphenol A is generally safe at the current low levels of human exposure, but the agency along with the National Institutes of Health would like to work to limit the exposure young children have to the chemical due to some concerns about the potential effects.
The F.D.A. said it is taking steps to reduce human exposure to B.P.A., and the steps include supporting the industry’s action to stop producing baby bottles and infant feeding cups that contain the chemical, facilitating the development of alternatives to the chemical for the linings of infant formula cans, supporting efforts to replace the chemical or minimize levels in other food can linings, supporting a shift to a more robust regulatory framework for the oversight of B.P.A., and seeking further public comment and external input on the science surrounding it.
The F.D.A. also said it is not recommending families change the use of infant formula or foods as the benefit of good nutrition outweighs the potential risk from exposure to the chemical.
In response, The American Chemistry Council issued a statement saying, “While the A.C.C. recognizes that H.H.S. and F.D.A. are attempting to address public confusion about B.P.A., we are disappointed that some of the recommendations are likely to worry consumers and are not well-founded.
“Plastics made with B.P.A. contribute safety and convenience to our daily lives because of their durability, clarity and shatter-resistance. Can liners and food-storage containers made with B.P.A. are essential components to helping protect the safety of packaged foods and preserving products from spoilage and contamination. A.C.C. remains committed to consumer safety and will continue to review new scientific studies concerning the safety of B.P.A.”
The Grocery Manufacturers Association said it agrees with the F.D.A.’s position and that the conclusions have been supported by other agencies around the world.
“As new research and studies are conducted, it is the obligation of our industry and the appropriate regulatory authorities to review that evidence and make the appropriate decisions that ensure the continued safety of our products,” the G.M.A. said. “While the F.D.A. currently conducts a new B.P.A. safety assessment, the National Institutes of Health will also devote $30 million to a two-year study of the safety of B.P.A. These two projects will add to the already robust catalogue of scientific evidence on B.P.A. We look forward to working cooperatively and responsively with H.H.S., F.D.A., N.I.H., Center for Disease Control and Prevention, other stakeholders and the world’s food safety agencies in our continuous efforts to ensure the safety and quality of our products and packaging.” FSM