November 20, 2012
BRUSSELS (Nov. 20, 11:45 a.m. ET) — Legislation in France, Belgium and Sweden to ban bisphenol A (BPA) in food contact packaging could have counterproductive effects, according to PlasticsEurope.
In a position statement, the Brussels-based organization which represents European polymer producers said: “The BPA value chain is deeply concerned about unilateral national bans on BPA and urges EU authorities to ensure that member states respect existing EU rules and processes on food contact materials.”
In October, the French senate voted to adopt a law that bans the use of BPA in food contact packaging that would take effect Jan. 1, 2015. Earlier this year, Sweden and Belgium approved legislation to ban BPA in food packaging marketed to children under 3 years old.
PlasticsEurope warned there could be detrimental outcomes by seeking alternatives to BPA, which has received confirmation of its safe use in food contact packaging from safety authorities around the world.
It said: “Certain claims regarding the availability of appropriate alternative materials for use in all food contact applications are non-substantiated: For the vast majority of products there are currently no adequate alternative substances or materials available, which are sufficiently tested, shelf-life-proven, and matching BPA’s performance characteristics. Therefore, if increased consumer safety is the goal of the initiatives, industry warns that these measures are counterproductive and may result in the opposite.”
Unilateral decisions in EU member countries “will result in unworkable situations for all market operators and will significantly disturb the European single market”, said PlasticsEurope.
The European Food Safety Authority is currently re-evaluating all available data and studies on dietary exposure to BPA, with a special focus on low dose exposure. PlasticsEurope said EU countries should put their bans on hold until EFSA issues its report, which is expected in May.