The French National Assembly on Nov 28, 2012 voted to ban bisphenol A (BPA) in food contact products intended for children under 3, starting January 2013 (date still to be confirmed). In addition, the bill includes a ban for BPA in all direct food contact applications, starting 1 January 2015. All food packaging that uses BPA in direct contact with food will be affected, however BPA used in labels and other applications not directly in contact with food remains unaffected. The French Senate is debating the bill on December 13, 2012.
The ban is not met with approval by the leading European plastic industry organization, PlasticsEurope. As reported by European Plastics News, PlasticsEurope said the ban had no benefit for consumers, that it disregarded existing European laws and conflicted with the scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that declared BPA safe for use in direct food contact applications. Currently EFSA is preparing a new scientific opinion on BPA which is expected for May 2013.
The European Commission will need to decide if the French ban is scientifically justified or not. Its options are to either adopt the law Europe-wide or to take legal action against France.
European Food Law (subscription required)