NAMPA criticises Swedish proposals to phase out bisphenol A in can linings

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bisphenol a

Swedish proposals to phase out bisphenol A (BPA) in epoxy can linings are based on political expedience and groundless fears rather than sound science, said the North American Metal Packaging Alliance (NAMPA).

Dr John Rost, chairman of the leading trade body, has censured plans put forward by Sweden last month to oblige food processors and packaging companies to submit plans on how they intend to substitute current epoxy linings in cans with BPA-free substitutes.

The proposals, put forward by Swedish Chemical Agency (KEMI) and the National Food Administration (SLV) are part of a Government strategy to cut human exposure to the chemical. The bodies highlighted epoxy linings in food and beverage cans as one of the primary sources of BPA exposure in the population.

The Swedish Government is likely to make a decision on whether to adopt the proposals by spring 2012.

Political pressure

But the NAMPA chief rejected the proposals and accused the authorities in the Scandinavian country of ignoring scientific evidence and bowing to political demands.

“The current proposal by Swedish food agencies is based on political pressure and clearly is not warranted by the scientific facts on BPA,”​ he said. “This is yet another disappointing development where science has been allowed to take a back seat to unfounded fears and political expedience.”

Asked whether NAMPA was concerned that the Swedish proposal could fuel calls for a wider ban on the chemical in food packaging, Dr Rost acknowledged that the rule-change, if adopted, would broaden the scope of BPA restrictions.

Current bans on the substance have been restricted to polycarbonate baby bottles and have been adopted by the European Union, Canada and a number of US states.

NAMPA said it remained confident that the science supporting the safety of BPA in food contact applications was sound.

It cited a recently published study by the German Society of Toxicology - which concluded that BPA posed no noteworthy risk to people of any age - as further proof that informed scientific opinion backed its support of the chemical.

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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