FDA reaches deadline on BPA decision

March 30, 2012

According to Food Safety News, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will have to decide by March 31 whether it will ban bisphenol A (BPA) in food and beverage packaging. The deadline was set as part of a settlement of a lawsuit filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) against the FDA. The group petitioned FDA three years ago to prohibit BPA from being used in food packaging, citing human health concerns, and eventually filed suit to force the agency to respond. In December 2011, a court ruled that the FDA had until March 31 to do so.

BPA has been widely used in food and beverage containers for decades and standardized toxicology tests have indicated that the chemical is safe. But a growing body of research looking at subtle effects at low levels of exposure has led the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and FDA to conclude that they have "some concern" about the potential effects of BPA "on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children."

After the FDA said it had "some concern" about BPA's safety particularly regarding exposure to infants and young children in January 2010, the government launched a $30 million NIH research initiative to help shed light on the issue. More than 100 studies have already been published since the research project launched.

Food Safety News article

NIH research studies on BPA