The North American Metal
Packaging Alliance (NAMPA) says it welcomes the recent action by the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) to reject the citizens’ petition filed by the
Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) seeking a ban on bisphenol A (BPA).
The Alliance says the petition failed to demonstrate the need for immediate
regulatory action. The FDA reiterated that BPA, at current levels of exposure,
is safe for use in food-contact applications for people of all ages, including
infants and children.
“FDA’s decision is a
welcome development, demonstrating the seriousness of the agency’s commitment
to doing its job of protecting public health,” Dr. John Rost, Chairman of
NAMPA, says. “Instead of bowing to pressure from activist groups, the agency is
relying on science to set public health policy. FDA’s decision to pursue an
updated risk assessment is especially important given that preliminary results
from ongoing government funded research support the safety of BPA in food
Since its last assessment
in 2010, FDA has invested millions of dollars into research on BPA. With much
of that work still underway, NAMPA agrees with FDA’s view that taking action
prior to the conclusion of that research would make little sense.
“Given the serious
implications on food safety from any action to ban BPA, we believe FDA is
pursuing a prudent course of action,” Dr. Rost continues. “A ban without
conclusive scientific evidence of risk would compromise the safety of canned
foods and beverages enjoyed by millions of Americans every day.”
The decision by FDA is
consistent with international regulatory reviews of BPA, the alliance says.
Experts in regulatory science from the World Health Organization, the European
Food Safety Authority, Health Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand are all
in agreement -- when the comprehensive body of research on BPA is evaluated by
unbiased scientific experts, the conclusion is the same: BPA-based coatings,
when used in food packaging, do not pose a health risk to the general
population, including infants and young children.