EFSA have been asked to analyse the findings of the two French Agency for Food Health Safety (ANSES) BPA reports - one on the health effects of bisphenol A and the other on its uses - by the European Commission.
The reports’ scientific approach, methodology and data will be reviewed and the possible implications of EFSA’s previous advice on the use of BPA in food packaging.
The research, which highlighted apparent health risks from exposure to BPA, made recommendations to reduce exposure to BPA particularly for children and pregnant women.
Last week the French National Assembly approved a full ban on BPA in food packaging based on the findings of the studies.
Ministers passed the proposed bill prohibiting the use of BPA in all food packaging from 2014, a ban on BPA packaging aimed at children under the age of 3 and the introduction of warning labels on packaging containing BPA for pregnant women or children under the age of 3.
Reconsider BPA advice
EFSA previously told FoodProductionDaily.com: “Following the publication of the two reports on BPA by ANSES on the 27th September 2011, the European Commission has asked EFSA for scientific advice on whether the reports contain elements that would lead EFSA to reconsider the opinion on BPA published in September 2010.”
EFSA last updated their advice on BPA in September 2010, at which point they concluded that they could not identify any new evidence to confirm the toxicity of BPA.
Scientists from EFSA and ANSES will meet in October to discuss any uncertainties with respect to the findings of the two reports, while comparing them to EFSA’s own assessment and considering the different views regarding health risks associated with BPA.
A report will be prepared on their discussions, including any potential areas of disagreement in their respective scientific BPA findings.
EFSA’s Panel on food contact materials, enzymes, flavourings and processing aids (CEF Panel) will then review of the reports at EFSA’s plenary meeting between the 20 and 22 November.
Mixed reactions to ban
The report, which also suggested the labelling of BPA containing household utensils and containers and further encouragement for the development of a BPA substitute, has caused mixed reaction since its release.
The French proposal for a full ban on BPA in food packaging took off after receiving endorsements from two cabinet ministers following the ANSES reports release.
Plastics Europe has shown opposition to the report, and the ban that followed, telling FoodProductionDaily.com that ANSES reports had “made a different interpretation of the existing data on BPA than the European Food Safety Authority.”
EFSA will provide their findings based on the ANSES report to the European Commission by the end of November 2011.