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FDA bans BPA in already-BPA-free uses

By: Gayle S. Putrich

July 12, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration will no longer permit the use of bisphenol A in packaging for baby formula.

The controversial plastic feedstock was banned from baby bottles and cups last year. In issuing the new ban, however, FDA said it still considers BPA to be safe for packaging, but took its action because manufacturers have already abandoned its use in baby formula packaging. The plastics and chemical industry also said the move had more to do with market forces than chemical safety.

Previously, BPA was an ingredient in the epoxy lining material used in metal cans used to package baby formula.

“We believe this action by FDA will bring clarity for consumers and will eliminate any lingering confusion about the presence of BPA in infant formula packaging. As noted by FDA, their action is not based on any finding or conclusion that packaging containing BPA is unsafe,” said Steven Hentges, who heads up the American Chemistry Council’s Polycarbonate and BPA Global Group.

The FDA announcement comes after a March 2012 petition from then-Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., calling for a sweeping BPA ban to include reusable food and beverage storage containers, canned foods and beverage packaging as well as infant formula and baby food packaging.

“With viable alternatives available for BPA, I urge all companies to abandon the use of this toxic chemical,” said Markey, who was elected to fill the Senate seat of Secretary of State John Kerry. “And I will continue my work in the Senate to ensure our entire food supply is free from this damaging chemical.”