FDA rejects NRDC petition to ban BPA from food-contact materials, says scientific data do not support case for regulatory action

WASHINGTON , March 30, 2012 (press release) – The North American Metal Packaging Alliance, Inc. (NAMPA) welcomes today’s action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reject the citizens’ petition filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) seeking a ban on bisphenol A (BPA) on the basis that the petition failed to demonstrate the need for immediate regulatory action. In announcing its decision, the agency reiterated that BPA, at current levels of exposure, is safe for use in food contact applications for people of all ages, including infants and children.

“FDA’s decision is a welcome development, demonstrating the seriousness of the agency’s commitment to doing its job of protecting public health,” said Dr. John Rost, Chairman of NAMPA. “Instead of bowing to pressure from activist groups, the agency is relying on science to set public health policy. FDA’s decision to pursue an updated risk assessment is especially important given that preliminary results from ongoing government funded research support the safety of BPA in food contact uses.”

Since its last assessment in 2010, FDA has invested millions of dollars into research on BPA. With much of that work still underway, NAMPA agrees with FDA’s view that taking action prior to the conclusion of that research would make little sense.

“Given the serious implications on food safety from any action to ban BPA, we believe FDA is pursuing a prudent course of action,” Dr. Rost continued. “A ban without conclusive scientific evidence of risk would compromise the safety of canned foods and beverages enjoyed by millions of Americans everyday.”

The decision by FDA is consistent with international regulatory reviews of BPA. Experts in regulatory science from the World Health Organization, the European Food Safety Authority, Health Canada, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand are all in agreement -- when the comprehensive body of research on BPA is evaluated by unbiased scientific experts, the conclusion is the same: BPA-based coatings, when used in food packaging, do not pose a health risk to the general population, including infants and young children.

About NAMPA

The North American Metal Packaging Alliance, Inc. and its members support sound science and trust the scientific review process that has protected our food supply for decades. For further information, visit www.metal-pack.org.

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