F.D.A. rejects petition to ban bisphenol A

by Keith Nunes
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WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has rejected a petition filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council calling on the agency to ban the use of bisphenol A (B.P.A.) in food and beverage packaging. In its rejection, the F.D.A. said it was not making a final determination, but continuing to examine the effects of B.P.A. on human health.

In 2008, the N.R.D.C. petitioned the F.D.A. to ban B.P.A. from food packaging. In 2011, after receiving no response from the agency, the N.R.D.C. sued the F.D.A. in an effort to compel a decision. The court issued a decree that the F.D.A. must make a final decision on the petition by March 31, 2012.

“B.P.A. is a toxic chemical that has no place in our food supply,” said Sarah Janssen, senior scientist in the public health program of the N.R.D.C. “We believe FDA made the wrong call.”

The North American Metal Packaging Alliance, Inc., a trade association representing packaging companies, was more approving of the F.D.A.’s decision.

Given the serious implications on food safety from any action to ban B.P.A., we believe F.D.A. is pursuing a prudent course of action,” said John Rost, chairman of the trade group. “A ban without conclusive scientific evidence of risk would compromise the safety of canned foods and beverages enjoyed by millions of Americans everyday.”

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