Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Bis-phenol A ( BPA) which is present as a component in poly carbonate feeding bottles and resin coatings in sanitary cans was a focus of intense scrutiny after it was implicated in health risks, especially to infants. Though the scare about its safety among consumers made many industry players to shun use of poly carbonate in feeding bottles and can resins, there has never been any formal banning of this chemical by any safety authorities in the world. Still BPA was subject matter of intense safety studies during the last two years with no adverse findings emerging so far and it is not surprising that the EU Safety Authorities have given it unqualified approval for use as long as the level does not exceed the prescribed limit. Here is a report from the EU.regarding the present status of BPA vis-a-vis processed foods. 

"Time after time when the comprehensive body of research on BPA is evaluated by unbiased scientific experts, the conclusion is the same -- that BPA does not pose any risk to infants, children, or adults from exposure through food contact applications," said Dr. John M. Rost, NAMPA Chairman. "This latest affirmation of BPA's safety in food packaging should prompt consumers to question the motivation behind the negative publicity on BPA, a material that not only protects food, but that repeatedly has been found safe by expert regulatory bodies worldwide." Over the past several weeks, EFSA conducted a thorough review of new scientific studies. This review was conducted at the request of the European Commission, following recent concerns raised by a report from the French food agency (ANSES). Responding to those concerns, EFSA noted that ANSES had conducted a limited hazard identification process, while EFSA had conducted a full risk assessment on BPA. Based on this latest assessment, EFSA upheld the finding of its 2010 review that the existing tolerable daily intake (TDI) for BPA would "protect all human populations for lifetime exposure to this substance through diet." EFSA also indicated plans to establish a multidisciplinary working group to monitor and review new scientific studies on BPA. "BPA-based epoxy coatings used in metal packaging enable high temperature sterilization that eliminates the danger of food poisoning or contamination," continued Dr. Rost. "These coatings are extremely effective, thoroughly tested, and safe, as reiterated by this recent EFSA evaluation. Expert risk assessments such as this latest work by EFSA should be what guides policy actions on BPA, not political agendas." A full report is available at ."

It is a tribute to the functioning of the safety assessment mechanism in the EU that suspect contaminants are continuously being subjected to evaluation and based on new data generated quick action is taken to remove or retain the already approved standards. One has to place faith on the safety agencies and be guided by their 'wisdom' derived from many tit bits of information at their disposal. On the other hand government agencies bestowed with the responsibility of looking after the welfare of the citizens should not be swayed by the clout or muscle of the industry or the lobbyists and must be true to the scientific truth. Between FDA of the US and EFSA of the EU, latter seems to have acquitted themselves better if one goes by the past track record of these two agencies during the last few years in safeguarding the consumer interest.  


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