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June 03, 2022
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FDA agrees to reevaluate safe levels of BPA in food packaging

Source:

Press Release

Disclosures: Healio could not confirm relevant financial disclosures at the time of publication.
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The FDA will reevaluate the safety of bisphenol A in food packaging, according to a press release from the Environmental Defense Fund.

“Most Americans get 5,000 times more bisphenol A (BPA) in their daily diet than the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) expert panel says is safe,” Tom Neltner, JD, the chemicals policy director at the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), said in the release. “It is imperative that FDA take action to limit BPA contamination of food. And given the significant risks, industry should not wait for FDA to act. They need to find safer alternatives to BPA or drastically reduce the migration of the chemical into food to protect children from harm.”

empty pill bottles
The FDA will reevaluate the safety of bisphenol A in food packaging. Source: Adobe Stock.

BPA is a manufactured endocrine-disrupting chemical commonly found in the packaging of many consumer products.

The decision to reassess safe levels of BPA in the U.S. comes in response to a formal petition that was submitted to the FDA earlier this year. The petition called on the FDA to withdraw approval for the use of BPA in adhesives and coatings and set stricter limits on its use in food packaging. The petition was submitted by the EDF, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund, Consumer Reports, Endocrine Society, Environmental Working Group, Healthy Babies Bright Futures and others. It was filed on Jan. 27 after an EFSA expert panel established a new tolerable daily intake of BPA, at 0.04 ng/kg of body weight. The FDA’s current limit on BPA is 50 µg/kg of body weight.

Several studies have indicated that BPA exposure has a negative impact on health, especially for women.

“Even very low levels of BPA exposure can be harmful and lead to issues with reproductive health, breast cancer risk, behavior and metabolism,” Heather Patisaul, PhD, an associate dean for research in the department of biological sciences at North Carolina State University and a member of the Endocrine Society, said in the release.

A study that was published in Environmental International after the petition was filed further illustrated the deleterious effects of BPA exposure. Researchers of the study reported that in utero exposure to BPA seemed to be associated with greater odds of asthma and wheezing among school-age girls. Exposure to BPA has also been linked to lower lung function in children and an increased risk for childhood obesity, all-cause mortality and postpartum depression.

Moreover, there is similar concern that replacement chemicals to BPA, such as bisphenol S and bisphenol F, have the same adverse effects on health as BPA.

The FDA has until Oct. 31 to make a final decision on the safety of BPA in food packaging.

“The FDA needs to acknowledge the science behind endocrine-disrupting chemicals and act accordingly to protect public health,” Patisaul said.

References:

Abellán A, et al. Environ Int. 2022;doi:10.1016/j.envint.2022.107178.

FDA agrees to reconsider safety of BPA in food packaging. https://www.edf.org/media/fda-agrees-reconsider-safety-bpa-food-packaging. Published June 2, 2022. Accessed June 2, 2022.