AFGC: No health risk from BPA in food packaging

Posted by Josette Dunn on 3rd September 2010

Food regulators around the world have found no major health risks associated with the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in food packaging and closures, the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) said yesterday.Responding to new research on BPA levels in foods and baby products by consumer group Choice, AFGC highlighted that the world’s leading food authorities, including Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ), maintain that levels of exposure to BPA are safe and don’t pose a significant health risk.

AFGC Deputy Chief Executive Dr Geoffrey Annison highlighted that Choice’s latest findings found that none of the 38 canned foods tested contained BPA levels above the European Union’s limit of 660 parts per billions (ppb).

“There’s no scientific evidence internationally that has shown any dangers to humans from BPA in canned products or bottles,” Dr Annison said.

“Products containing BPA have been subject to significant and rigorous investigations by leading world authorities and, in recent years, food regulators in the United States, UK and the EU have examined the latest findings and have determined that the use of BPA continues to be safe.”

FSANZ’s chief scientist Paul Brent recently said that the regulator was working closely with industry in Australia after having meetings with AFGC and the Packaging Council of Australia as well as various manufacturers of canned foods and infant formula.

Following consultation with industry, Parliamentary Secretary for Health Mark Butler has also announced a voluntary phase out by major retailers and manufacturers of baby bottles containing BPA which began on July 1, following some level of public concern relating to BPA.

“Australian manufacturers have acknowledged this level of consumer concern and proactively undertaken to phase out baby bottles containing BPA,” Dr Annison said.

Industry understands that BPA-free products, including baby food cans will be available within 12 months, with metal closures on glass jars and bottles to follow soon afterwards.