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Health Canada: BPA is safe in food packaging

By: Mike Verespej

October 1, 2012

OTTAWA (Oct. 1, 12:45 p.m. ET) — A report by Health Canada says there is no health risk from exposure to bisphenol A in food packaging — even though the Canadian government banned BPA from baby bottles four years ago.

“Based on the overall weight of evidence, the findings of the previous assessment remain unchanged and Health Canada’s Food Directorate continues to conclude that current dietary exposure to BPA through food packaging uses is not expected to pose a health risk to the general population, including newborns and young children,” said the Bureau of Chemical Safety of Health Canada in its report that was quietly issued Sept. 27.

Studies by the Canadian government at the time the ban was put into place in October 2008 also had concluded the chemical was not likely a health risk. But it was still banned as a precautionary measure because some studies had suggested potential health risks from effects of low levels of exposure to BPA.

In the United States, 11 states, the city of Chicago and four counties have banned the use of BPA in polycarbonate baby bottles and sippy cups. All major baby bottle manufacturers that make products for the U.S. market agreed in 2009 not to make or sell baby bottles or sippy cups that contain BPA.

This past July — in response to an industry petition — FDA agreed to exclude baby bottles and sippy cups from regulations that permit companies to use BPA in food-contact applications.

BPA is used to make polycarbonate and epoxy resins. The materials are used to line metal cans and are found in thermal printer paper and some dental composites and sealants.

It is estimated that more than 8 billion pounds of BPA are produced worldwide every year.