On June 16, 2015 the New York Times published an article on “Facing consumer pressure, companies start to seek safe alternatives to BPA”. Journalist Rachel Abrams reports about a recently publicized survey on bisphenol A (BPA) alternatives in food cans, conducted by the U.S. non-profit organization Environmental Working Group (EWG) (FPF reported). While some large food manufacturers have openly stated that BPA-based coatings are no longer used, they have not fully revealed what the underlying chemistry of alternative coatings is. According to EWG, this lack of transparency is of concern because some BPA-alternatives are also endocrine disrupters. Replacing BPA has not been swift, as Rachel Abrams writes, due to an ongoing dispute between scientific experts, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and industry as to whether the chemical is safe for use in food contact materials or not. In order to establish this FDA has partnered with the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) in a chronic (2 year) toxicity study on BPA, looking at endocrine disruption specific endpoints as well as classical toxicology aspects (FPF reported). However, final results from this study are not expected until in two years’ time.
Preliminary data from a dose-finding sub-chronic 90 day study had been published in 2014 with FDA declaring BPA to be safe at low levels (FPF reported), despite findings of neurological effects at low doses (FPF reported). At the same time, several of the involved academic scientists stated their concern about the preliminary data, saying that controls had been contaminated and the data were therefore inconclusive (FPF reported).
Rachel Abrams (June 15, 2015). “Facing consumer pressure, companies start to seek safe alternatives to BPA.” The New York Times