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France to ban BPA in food packaging

October 5, 2012

PARIS (Oct. 5, 10:10 a.m. ET) — The French Senate this week adopted a law that bans the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in food contact packaging, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

Quoting scientific studies carried out by French research bodies Inserm and Anses, the Senate said the toxicity of BPA is proven in animals and suspected in humans and that it does not have to “wait for absolute proof of causality or understand the exact mechanisms to protect the health of populations.”

The Senate is particularly worried about the affect on the health of pregnant mothers, babies and children under the age of three, so BPA in packaging aimed at those markets will be banned in 2013.

Packaging will also carry a warning label for pregnant and feeding mothers.

The Senate says it understands the difficulties the packaging industry will face in having to find alternative packaging materials, but the statement has not pacified PlasticsEurope, the Brussels-based trade group that represents resin suppliers in Europe.

The association says the law proposal has no safety benefits for consumers and even undermines the credibility of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

EFSA published various reports on BPA between 2006 and 2011, concluding that BPA can be safely used in its current food contact applications, including products for newborns and small children.

Also, the warning label would add little to consumer choice, says PlasticsEurope.

The text adopted by the Senate’s Social Affairs Committee will be discussed by the French Senate Plenary on Oct. 9.