Food safety watch dog, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), is inviting a group of national experts from EU Member states to a top level summit on bisphenol A (BPA).  

BPA is an industrial chemical used to make polycarbonate plastic resins, epoxy resins, and other chemicals.  BPA is often found in polycarbonate baby bottles and epoxy linings of food cans.  Many studies have linked the chemical to an assortment of serious health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and birth disorders.  
In early April, the EFSA will outline its opinion on the chemical at the meeting with national specialists present.  EFSA’s assessment of BPA is currently being prepared by its scientific panel on food contact materials (CEF Panel).  The opinion drawn up by the food contacts panel is expected to be adopted by May 2010. 

Last October the European Commission requested the evaluation of the relevance of a new study suggesting possible neurodevelopmental effects of BPA.  Concerns regarding the updating of the existing Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) were brought to light by several officials. 

Specialists invited to the summit will be able to speak on behalf of EFSA’s continuous work on the chemical and will be able to bring forward any national research in support of EFSA’s opinion.  These experts will be nominated by EFSA’s Advisory Forum and will be working closely with CEF Panel’s BPA group. 

Last month the US Food and Drug Administration reported along with the National Toxicology Program, they “have some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children”.  The FDA also addressed the steps they are taking to reduce human exposure to this chemical including the stopping of the manufacturing of baby bottles containing BPA.