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UK Edges Toward BPA Ban

The European Union’s directive banning infant feeding bottles containing bisphenol A (BPA) for infants up to 12 months is getting serious consideration in the United Kingdom.

The UK’s Food Standards Agency is soliciting views on draft national regulations to implement the ban.  It is doing so even though it does not think BPA is a current health risk.

In a statement, the agency said it was “keen to hear from all stakeholders on the draft national regulations that would implement the EU Directive and the associated draft impact assessment.”

BPA is a chemical used in polycarbonate, a type of transparent, rigid plastic. It is found in all sorts of products, from car headlights to food storage containers as well as baby bottles. 

BPA is also used in the coatings inside food cans to prevent corrosion of the can and subsequent contamination of food and drinks. 

BPA in very small amounts can be transfered from packaging into food and drinks.  There are legal limits, based upon a tolerable daily intake, for BPA in food contact materials.

Scientists who make up the European Food Safety Authority’s expert panel recently concluded that they could not identify any new evidence that would lead them to revise the current tolerable daily intake for BPA, and said their view is that exposure to BPA from food contact materials does not represent a risk to consumers, including infants. 

However, they acknowledged the concerns of a great number of people about the use of BPA in bottles, cups and other containers used by children.

In November, the European Commission adopted the directive to ban BPA in infant feeding bottles because of consumer concerns about BPA.  And indications are that industry has already taken voluntary action to limit BPA’s use in baby bottles.

Last month, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-CA, attempted to impose a similar ban in the United States by amending the food safety bill.   She said the chemical industry prevented her being successful in the attempt.

 

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