France's highest court has delivered a split decision on bisphenol A.
While the French Constitutional Council ruled that a 2012 law suspending the manufacture and export of items using BPA unjustifiably restricted trade, it also said that it did not have the ability to assess the scientific merits of BPA, and let stand the part of the current law banning the use of BPA for products touching food within France.
So while manufacturers can use BPA for export, they cannot use the same product for domestic use.
Because of that divide and the Council's failure to address the compatibility of the French law with existing European Union law, trade group PlasticsEurope said it is continuing a legal battle that calls for the entire French law to be removed.
“Given that the French court has repealed the ban on exports from France, and yet maintained the ban within France, necessitates immediate action at European level to resolve this very arbitrary situation,” said Jasmin Bird from the polycarbonate/BPA group within PlasticsEurope, in a news release.
“The fact remains that leading independent scientific authorities worldwide such as the European Food Safety Authority have concluded that BPA-based food contact materials pose no risk to consumers.”
PlasticsEurope is not alone in seeking a resolution.
British Plastics Federation director-general Philip Law said: “The French law introduced a significant distortion of trade in what are essentially safe materials, as confirmed by a major EU Risk Assessment process.
“France and the European Union's institutions should now complete the job, permit the availability of these materials in the French market itself and respect the principles of the single European market which is already armed to the hilt with safety legislation affecting chemicals.”