Saturday, January 16, 2010

FDA: Update on Bisphenol A for Use in Food Contact

The FDA has released an "Update on Bisphenol A for Use in Food Contact" released this month (January 2010). Here's the FDA’s Current Perspective on BPA:
At this interim stage, FDA shares the perspective of the National Toxicology Program that recent studies provide reason for some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. FDA also recognizes substantial uncertainties with respect to the overall interpretation of these studies and their potential implications for human health effects of BPA exposure. These uncertainties relate to issues such as the routes of exposure employed, the lack of consistency among some of the measured endpoints or results between studies, the relevance of some animal models to human health, differences in the metabolism (and detoxification) of and responses to BPA both at different ages and in different species, and limited or absent dose response information for some studies.
Here are the interim public health recommendations as they relate to infants: 

FDA is supporting the industry’s actions to stop producing BPA-containing bottles and infant feeding cups for the U.S. market. FDA understands that over the past year, the major manufacturers of these products have stopped selling new BPA-containing bottles and infant feeding cups for the U.S. market. Glass and polypropylene bottles and plastic disposable “bag” liners have long been alternatives to polycarbonate nursing bottles. 

FDA is facilitating the development of alternatives to BPA for the linings of infant formula cans.  FDA has already noted increased interest on the part of infant formula manufacturers to explore alternatives to BPA-containing can linings, and has received notifications for alternative packaging.  The agency is supporting efforts to develop and use alternatives by (1) working with manufacturers regarding the regulatory status and safety of alternative liners; (2) giving technical assistance to those wishing to prepare applications for approval of alternatives; and (3) expeditiously reviewing any such new applications for alternatives. Because reliable can lining materials are a critical factor in ensuring the quality of heat processed liquid infant formula, safe replacement of such materials requires not only that they both be safe for food contact but also allow for processing that is fully functional in protecting the safety and quality of the infant formula itself.

You can read the full report here.

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