Bisphenol A ban close to passing

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Aug. 27, 2010 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

CMTA, and many others, oppose SB 797 (Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills) to ban the use of Bisphenol-A (BPA)-containing products like bottles, cups or canned foods. The scientific community and regulatory agencies from around the world, however, have concluded BPA is safe as used.

In January, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a statement regarding the use of BPA in food contact applications, including baby bottles, cups and infant formula cans.  When asked if the FDA thought BPA was unsafe, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein of the FDA responded “If we thought it was unsafe, we would be taking strong regulatory action."

Ten other international regulatory bodies have assessed the science on BPA and have determined it is safe for use in food contact applications: the European Food Safety Authority, European Union, Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, French Food Safety Authority, Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority, Danish Environmental Protection Agency, German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Health Canada, Food Standards Australia New Zealand, Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science & Technology.

Earlier this year, the U.S. National Institutes of Health announced that it will continue reviewing the safety of BPA and has appropriated $30 million in new research funding, with conclusions expected within 18-24 months. Key research in FDA’s labs is also underway with initial results expected to be published within weeks.

California’s Department of Toxics Substances Control is also on track for a summer release of final regulations implementing the state’s “Green Chemistry” Program.  This program will create a process by which the state will identify potential chemicals of concern in consumer products, evaluate those chemicals, and implement an appropriate regulatory response – including an outright ban – if necessary.  This program was created by the Legislature so that scientific expertise can inform regulatory decision-making regarding chemicals in consumer products. SB 797 bypasses this process.

Alternatives to BPA-based canned food liners are not readily available. While some products utilize an alternative epoxy coating, this use is very limited.  There are more than 15,000 unique epoxy coating specifications in North America alone.

Unlike BPA, what has been proven harmful are the food borne pathogens that develop from improperly canned foods. Epoxy resin has enabled the high temperature sterilization that eliminates the dangers of food poisoning from microbial contaminants.  These are the risks to food safety that must be considered.

SB 797 is set to be heard on the Senate floor for concurrence in amendments made in the Assembly.

Read more Environmental Impacts articles

Capitol updates archive 989898989