BPA is found in some plastic and metal packaging.
The European Parliament has rejected calls to ban the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) from food and drink packaging, opting instead to adopt a limit for the amount of BPA used in food contact materials.
Lawmakers have given the green light to a regulation that sets a specific migration limit (SML) of 0.05mg per kilogram of food for BPA migrated from varnishes and coatings on plastic packaging.
They comprehensively rejected a motion, tabled by a group of Green MEPs, that called for an outright ban on the use of BPA in Europe.
The decision sets a consensus on the use of BPA in food contact materials and alleviates some of the pressure on the plastic packaging industry, following a damning assessment from the European Chemicals Agency in June that found it was “probable” that BPA led to “serious effects to human health”.
The ECHA agreed with a French application that BPA gave rise to an equal level of risk to that of carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic substances.
But claims about BPA’s impact on obesity, diabetes and ADHD have never been fully proven.
Individual countries have already taken action to restrict consumers’ exposure to BPA – including France, which applied for the ECHA decision, and the Netherlands, which called for the EU to limit exposure to BPA among pregnant women and young children.
The regulation approved by the European Commission this month does include provision for banning BPA in products targeted specifically at babies – including infant formula, follow-on formula, processed cereal-based food, baby food or food for special medical purposes developed to satisfy the nutritional requirements of infants and young children.
FoodBev understands that there is no article written into the bill that applies specifically to pregnant women.
Regardless of their previous stances on BPA, all EU member states will be expected to comply with the regulation.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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