USDA warns French BPA ban may harm US food exports

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WASHINGTON (Feb. 21, 11:30 a.m. ET) — The proposed French ban on bisphenol A (BPA) in food packaging would jeopardize exports of food products to France, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The report says the ban, which is waiting to be examined by the French senate, would affect sales of beverage products such as beer and juice. France is the second largest market for Florida juices, with sales totaling $21 million, according to USDA.

“In addition, any product that contains a plastic packaging or a plastic component maybe affected by this law,” says the report. “Frozen seafood and meat products are most likely using BPA in their packaging, as well as packers for bulk dried fruit and dried legumes.”

USDA says U.S. companies that manufacture in France, for example Coca-Cola Co., would be forced to change the composition of their packaging at a higher cost. Smaller companies may not have the financial resources to change their packaging, it adds.

In 2011, the French Socialist party proposed two bills at the National Assembly, banning the use of BPA in all food containers by Jan. 1, 2014. The bill is due for approval by the end of this month.