The FDA has made the decision to ban BPA, or bisphenol A-based epoxy resins used as coatings in infant formula packaging. They said Thursday in a Federal Register announcement the use has largely been abandoned by manufacturers anyway.
The action came about in response to a March 2012 petition from then-Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), saying “manufacturers have intentionally and permanently abandoned the use of food contact surfaces or articles containing BPA in linings of cans of infant formula and in packaging of baby and toddler food.”
The petition addressed packaging for infant formula only, not that for other food and beverages; therefore the FDA ruled only on the former.
Use of BPA-based epoxy resins in children’s products has been banned in Canada, the European Union, China, and 11 U.S. states because of safety concerns, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). But the FDA has said evidence generally supports the safety of current low levels of human exposure to BPA.
“The FDA received 21 responses to its request for comments on Markey’s petition; 18 supported the BPA ban in formula packaging.”
In his petition, Markey had observed that “although a survey of the four infant formula manufacturers that account for 100% of the market showed they have stopped using BPA-based epoxy coatings in their packaging, one manufacturer said it has no specific plans to use the packaging materials with BPA but reserves the right to do so in the future should circumstances warrant it.”
“We conclude that a mere assertion of a right to unspecified, hypothetical future use of an additive does not demonstrate that, at the present time, there is evidence that this use has not been permanently and completely abandoned,” the agency said.
The FDA did not address the safety of BPA in the formula packaging, saying it “is not relevant to abandonment.”
“Separate from our consideration of this petition, we are actively assessing the safety of BPA,” the agency said.
Some research has linked BPA with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and liver abnormalities. On its website, the FDA says some studies have raised questions about its effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children.
“FDA last summer also banned BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups — again saying the practice had largely been abandoned by makers of the products. Also, last March, the agency rejected a request from the NRDC asking for a complete ban of BPA in all food and beverage containers.”
Markey, who won a special election last month to fill the seat of Sen. John Kerry, has also championed a legislative fight to ban BPA from all food and beverage containers.
These are interesting studies that are certainly not new to health news but are certainly worth the public’s attention as the chemicals in plastics are much more dangerous than some people think.
Source: Medpage Today