US ‘will not’ ban BPA in food packaging
The US Food and Drug Administration has announced that it will not ban the use of the controversial chemical bisphenol A, also known as BPA, in food and beverage packaging. However, the FDA said it will continue research on the health effects of the widely used chemical.
On 30 March, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration denied a petition from environmental group National Resources Defense Council to ban the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, which has been used for decades to harden plastic or make the epoxy resin that lines tin cans.
The FDA did not close the door on future regulation. FDA Office of Food Additive Safety officer Dennis Keefe said the agency takes all concerns about BPA seriously and is evaluating them as part of the agency’s ongoing oversight of food safety. Scientists still are working to determine what effects BPA, which mimics estrogen in the body, has on human health once it is ingested. They report that they know that it is metabolised quickly and that it has been shown to have negative effects in mice, including developmental and reproductive abnormalities, precancerous changes in the prostate and breast and other health problems (PackagingNews, 2 April 2012).