Regulatory Meeting With Manufacturers And Users Of Bisphenol A-Containing Materials
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Health Canada's Health Products and Food Branch hosted a meeting of representatives of U.S. and Canadian manufacturers and users of food packaging materials containing bisphenol A (BPA) to discuss what is being done to help minimize the levels of the chemical in food. The meeting was also part of FDA's efforts to assist industry in its voluntary BPA reduction efforts.
The meeting provided a forum for:
- Updating the industry on the FDA's and Health Canada's current activities and planned research to further assess the exposure to BPA and manage any potential risks from the chemical.
- Describing manufacturers' research activities, their work to refine packaging manufacturing practices to minimize migration of BPA into food, and recent marketplace developments.
- Dialogue by the participants about further information from regulated industry stakeholders that would be helpful to the FDA and Health Canada in updating and refining their BPA risk assessments.
- Dialogue about the different uses of BPA in food contact applications and the variation in availability of fully functional and evaluated alternative substances.
- Discussion of the expectation that, because of availability of alternative products, polycarbonate baby bottles could cease to be a substantial component of the North American market in the future.
With regard to BPA generally, based on all available evidence, the consensus of regulatory agencies in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan is that the current levels of exposure to BPA through food packaging do not pose an immediate health risk to the general population, including infants and young children.
Health Canada's Health Products and Food Branch has concluded that current dietary exposure to BPA through food packaging uses is not expected to pose a health risk to the general population, including newborns and infants. However, using a precautionary approach, the Government of Canada has taken steps to reduce exposure to BPA for infants and young children.
The FDA is currently preparing a detailed response to the October 2008 review by the FDA Science Board of the agency's draft assessment of the safety of BPA for use in food contact applications. The draft assessment focused on the concerns for developmental toxicity identified in recent assessments of BPA, including those of the National Toxicology Program and their expert panel. For example, the FDA is reviewing research about the potential low-dose effects of BPA and will carefully evaluate the findings of these studies.