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Industry warns of counterproductive effects of national initiatives on BPA

Position statement
Industry warns of counterproductive effects of national initiatives on Bisphenol A The Bisphenol A (BPA) value chain is deeply concerned about unilateral national bans on BPA and urges EU authorities to ensure that Member States respect existing EU rules and processes on food contact materials During the past weeks France, Belgium and Sweden announced plans to adopt national bans on BPA in all food contact applications (in France) or in food packaging marketed to children less than three years old (in Sweden and Belgium). These announcements came regardless of
the thorough scientific assessments performed by several safety authorities worldwide who have repeatedly confirmed the safety of BPA in food contact uses, incl. for new-borns and children. Increased risk for consumers, disruption of the internal market, no adequate alternative
substances for vast majority of products These developments disregard and devalue the current criteria and processes of EU risk assessment. They will potentially increase risk to consumers, and are causing disruption to the
internal market. Certain claims regarding the availability of appropriate alternative materials for use in all food contact applications are non-substantiated: For the vast majority of products there are currently no adequate alternative substances or materials available, which are sufficiently tested, shelf-life-proven, and matching BPA’s performance characteristics. Therefore, if increased consumer safety is the goal of the initiatives, industry warns that these measures are counterproductive and may result in the opposite. No science-based reason to ban the risk-assessed and confirmed safe use of BPA from the use in food contact applications
The French decision to switch to a hazard-based approach with respect to BPA, although there is a full EU risk assessment available, creates fundamental confusion about BPA, a substance which is confirmed safe for its intended uses. It significantly weakens the European food safety
regulation system, and creates a situation of severe uncertainty for the whole food supply chain across Europe – and for consumers alike. National decisions have been taken independently of input from national scientific expert authorities regarding safety assessment and/or practical implementation. They will result in unworkable situations for all market operators and will significantly disturb the European single market, creating obstacles to the movement of certain consumer products, and they will reduce, not increase, consumer safety.

EU food contact regulation must be respected, robust science must remain the basis for regulatory decisions EU food contact regulation and processes have been negotiated and agreed upon by all Member States. Industry calls on Member States to respect these regulations and refrain from
implementing unilateral restrictions. Member States should accept and apply the opinions of the European risk assessment bodies, and EU authorities should prevent any unjustified disruption of the internal market. In this regard, any potential action on BPA should be put on hold until EFSA has published its re-assessment of BPA expected in May 2013.
Most importantly, industry insists that alternatives to BPA should be proposed only when proven to be equally safety-tested, evaluated and approved for their individual uses, using reliable and sustainable criteria.

For further information, please contact:
Jasmin Bird
Communications Manager
Tel: +32 2 676 17 38
Fax: +32 2 675 39 35