The US Food and Drug Administration is to conduct a fresh review on the safety of chemical bisphenol A, used widely in packaging on food and drinks.
A new study on bisphenol A, which is used in cans, will be led by the FDA’s chief scientist, Dr Jesse Goodman, a spokesperson for the regulator confirmed to just-food sister site just-drinks yesterday (8 June).
The move follows pressure on the FDA from several Democrat members of Congress.
The FDA’s decision to declare bisphenol A (BPA) safe last year, they have argued, was too heavily influenced by industry opinion.
Some studies have linked BPA to a range of health problems, including reproductive problems, development problems in young children and cancer.
These studies have been vigorously disputed by trade bodies, in particular the North American Metal Packaging Alliance, which represents the beverage packaging industry.
The FDA hopes that a further review of the evidence available will draw a line under the issue in the US. It is expected that the review will be complete by early autumn.
BPA has been declared safe by the European Food Safety Authority and Food Standards Australia New Zealand.
However, California’s Senate last week voted to ban BPA in baby bottles and food containers. Canada’s Government has also put pressure on industry to reduce the use of BPA in packaging that may come into contact with babies under 18 months.