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Denmark’s National Food Institute Says Europe’s BPA Safe Levels Need Work

BPA Ban Introduced in North Carolina

Those epoxy resins used to line metal food cans and some plastic containers are safe at current permitted levels, with some European bickering still going on about where lower limits should be placed.

They may not have gotten that memo yet in North Carolina, where a “Toxic Free Kids Act” has been introduced on the theory that “it can be impossible for parents to tell the difference between toxic products and safe ones.” NC’s Senate Bill 81 would ban bisphenol-A (BPA) in children’s products.

BPAcans_406x250Food safety authorities in both the U.S. and Europe, however, have recently found BPA levels being used in such cans and bottles are safe for children and adults.

Two years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) took the precaution of banning the substance in baby bottles and sip cups. But, in its official 2014 assessment, FDA found current exposure levels of 5 micrograms per day as safe, a finding it based on 300 scientific studies conducted from 2009 to 2013.

Then in January, the influential European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) found that BPA exposure from any combination of sources — diet, cosmetics, and even the kind of thermal paper used for cash register receipts — is considerably less than the safe level, or the “tolerable daily intake (TDI).”

EFSA’s report suggested those TDIs be safely lowered, a finding with which the National Food Institute (NFI) at the Technical University of Denmark does not disagree. It just issued its own report stating that EFSA would drop the limits a little too much.

“The National Food Institute has examined EFSA’s toxicological evaluations with a focus on the main conclusions in the report and to determine whether the new TDI is sufficiently protective and thus gives the institute cause to change its earlier assessment of bisphenol A,” according to the NFI’s statement on its review.

NFI’s scientists found that, “… EFSA’s new TDI does not adequately protect against endocrine disrupting effects. One reason is that EFSA does not apply an appropriate uncertainty factor. Moreover the researchers find that EFSA in establishing the new TDI has not sufficiently taken data from animal studies showing effects on female mammary gland, the male reproductive system, and brain development and function into account.”

According to NFI’s calculations, the new TDI should be 0.7 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day, or lower, to be sufficiently protective against endocrine disrupting effects. The institute’s assessment is based on the same studies as those in the EFSA report.

“We maintain the National Food Institute’s previous risk assessment of bisphenol A. We evaluate that a tolerable intake of bisphenol A should be lower than one-fifth of the EFSA recommended limit,” says Professor Ulla Hass from the National Food Institute.

As for the North Carolina bill to totally ban the substance, it has yet to receive any consideration from the committee to which it was assigned.

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