EU consultation to ban bisphenol A in food packaging

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BPA

An extended public consultation, until 8 March 2024, allows European citizens to express their opinion on the hypothesis of banning the use of bisphenol A in packaging and food contact materials (FCM, Food Contact Materials). (1)

Bisphenol A, confirmed danger

EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), in the scientific opinion published on 19 April 2023, has finally clarified that exposure to bisphenol A – including through materials in contact with food – represents a serious danger for the population of all ages. (2)

Bisphenol A (BPA) in fact interferes with the endocrine system on which the production of hormones depends. And exposure to this substance is associated with various diseases such as diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular diseases, behavioral diseases (hyperactivity).

Avoid dangerous substitutes

The rules which the European Commission proposes to approve (in theory) by the first quarter of 2024 should impose:

– the ban on the use of bisphenol A in materials in contact with food, including plastic and plastic-coated packaging,

– evaluate the use of other bisphenols in materials in contact with food to avoid replacing BPA with other harmful substances,

– establish exemptions and transitional periods applicable to businesses.

Big Food vs. public health

The food and packaging industries they will finally be forced to eliminate bisphenol A from ‘food contact materials’, and it is important that this happens as soon as possible to stem a serious public health problem.

The merit of this initiative goes to France which was the first to ban the use of BPA in food packaging, starting from 21 July 2015. The French Antitrust has also punished the agreement of large industries to hide the presence of BPA from consumers / absence of BPA in packaging, as seen. (3)

Marta Strinati

Footnotes

(1) Food safety: Restrictions on bisphenol A (BPA) and other bisphenols in food contact materials. Public consultation. European Commission https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/have-your-say/initiatives/13832-Food-safety-restrictions-on-bisphenol-A-BPA-and-other-bisphenols-in-food-contact-materials_en

(2) Dario Dongo, Giulia Pietrollini. Toxicity of bisphenol A, EFSA declares a public health alarm. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade).

(3) Marta Strinati. Bisphenol A in cans, Bonduelle and Unilever sanctioned in France. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade).

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Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".