A statement issued today by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should lay to rest consumer concerns about the use of epoxy liners containing Bisphenol A (BPA) in metal packaging for foods and beverages. According to the North American Metal Packaging Alliance, Inc. (NAMPA), the organization representing the metal food and beverage packaging industry, FDA’s advice to consumers that products containing BPA are safe and there is no reason to discontinue using them is consistent with regulatory authorities around the world.

“Metal cans are an essential technology that provides consumers with safe food and beverages,” said John M. Rost, Ph.D., chairman of NAMPA. “Expert regulatory authorities around the world have unanimously determined that epoxy coatings made with BPA are safe for food packaging. We are pleased the FDA has reaffirmed the safety of this application and resisted the calls for increased regulation or bans based on unsubstantiated claims,” Rost said.

In its statement, FDA described its formation of an agency-wide BPA task force to facilitate a cross agency review of research on BPA for all FDA regulated products. This task force is undertaking a continuous analysis of emerging literature on BPA. As an outgrowth of this comprehensive analysis, the FDA today said:

“…FDA has completed a review of the available biological fate data and two recently completed rodent multigeneration reproductive studies; these studies did not indicate a safety concern for BPA at current exposure levels.”

The FDA statement went on to say:

“Based on our ongoing review, we believe there is a large body of evidence that indicates that FDA regulated products containing BPA currently on the market are safe and that exposure levels to BPA from food contact materials, including for infants and children, are below those that may case health effects.”

The agency statement concluded:

“This position is consistent with two risk assessments for BPA conducted by the European Food Safety Authority Scientific Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing Aids and Materials in Contact with Food and the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology. Each of these documents considered the question of a possible low-dose effect and concluded that no current health risk exists for BPA at the current exposure level.”

As a recommendation to consumers, FDA said:

“At this time, FDA is not recommending that anyone discontinue using products that contain BPA while we continue our risk assessment process.”

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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