Sweden: Decision on bisphenol A phase out in cans likely by early 2012

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Bisphenol a

A decision on whether to adopt recommendations leading to the phasing out of bisphenol A-containing epoxy can linings is likely to be made within 12 months, Sweden has said.

A Swedish Government spokesman told FoodProductionDaily.com the report from the National Chemical Agency (KEMI) and the National Food Administration (SLV) would be sent out for consultation to a host of interested parties before Ministers reached a final verdict on whether to implement the plan as part of a national strategy to curb human exposure to the chemical.

Under the proposals put forward last week by the two official agencies, Swedish food processors and packaging companies would have to submit plans within months on how they intend to substitute current epoxy linings in cans with BPA-free alternatives – or get such a roadmap from their suppliers.

Importers and manufacturers would also be obliged to outline when such alternatives could come to market and be available to the food industry. They would also be required to deliver an assessment on the likely impact of the move on food production and manufacturing.

Consultation

Ministry of the Environment press secretary Lennart Boden said: “The Ministry will now refer the report to stakeholders for comments no later than 15 August. On the basis of those comments, the Government will take a decision on whether to adopt or amend the recommendations.”

Industry, consumer and environmental groups would be among those who would be asked to comment on the proposals. While the Government had not fixed a date to make a decision, it typically did so within six months of the ending of the call for views, added the spokesman.

Problems remain

The KEMI/SLV report highlighted BPA migration from food contact materials such as food and beverage epoxy can linings as a major source of human exposure to BPA.

The document acknowledged recent findings by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that said current exposure levels through packaging did not pose a health risk but added it believed “problems with BPA remain”.

The can lining recommendations in the report were just one proposal designed to cut BPA exposure. Others included pushing for a switch to non-BPA thermal paper of the kind used in shop receipts, as well as investigating effects of BPA migration from renovated plastic water pipes, plastic toys.

Related topics Food safety & quality

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