IFT opposes amendment to S. 510, that would ban use of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in food packaging materials

May 10, 2010

The Honorable Tom Harkin
Chairman
Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee
731 Senate Hart Building
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Michael B. Enzi
Ranking Member
Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee
379-A Senate Russell Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Mr. Chairman and Ranking Member Enzi:

Thank you for your leadership in advancing S. 510, FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.  As the international not-for-profit professional society for food science and technology, the Institute of Food Technologists is dedicated to advancing food safety through science-based decision making.

We are writing to respectfully urge opposition to legislation, particularly amendment to S. 510, that would ban use of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in food packaging materials.  We do so not as an endorsement of the continued use of BPA, but as a respectful objection to substitution of political decision making for the science-based decision process of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

IFT supports the FDA’s activities relating to the BPA issue, including support for reasonable steps to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply, support of further valuable studies, and its interim public health recommendations.  Appropriately, FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research is investigating, with the National Toxicology Program and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the safety of low doses of BPA as pertains to specific concerns that have been raised.  Other studies by other organizations are also underway.  We submit that appropriate scientific review and regulatory scrutiny has been engaged. Further, IFT agrees with the point that the FDA made in its January 2010 Update on Bisphenol A that it is important that no harmful changes be made in food packaging or consumption that could jeopardize food safety or availability of food needed for good nutrition.

The political decision making of a Senate vote to ban use of BPA is an inappropriate substitute for objective science-based review.  Accordingly, we respectfully urge you to oppose any such amendment to S. 510.

Sincerely,

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