In an article published on May 2, 2015, in the digital edition of the newspaper Rheinische Post, RP Online, journalist Jan Drebes reports on the demand for a German wide ban of bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) in food packaging proposed by North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) consumer protection minister Johannes Remmel. Drebes points out the presence of BPA in many food contact materials (FCMs) and other consumer products, making it difficult for consumers to avoid exposure to the substance. Due to potential health risks associated with BPA exposure, Remmel – along with his counterparts from other German states, namely, Hessen, Niedersachsen and Schleswig-Holstein – is asking the German Government to ban BPA in FCMs. The next step will be a nationwide minimization strategy to ban BPA from other consumer products. Another motive for Remmel’s demands is the recent adjustment of the BPA safety threshold by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). After evaluation of numerous scientific studies, the tolerable daily intake (TDI) was lowered from 50 µg/kg bodyweight (bw)/day to 4 µg/kg bw/day (FPF reported). Although EFSA stresses that BPA poses no health risk to consumers of any age group at current exposure levels, neither EFSA nor the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) rule out the potential of BPA harming human health considering the scientific evidence. Already in 2011 the EU banned BPA in plastic baby bottles. Denmark banned all BPA-containing children’s products in 2010 and France banned all BPA-containing products that are in contact with food as of January 2015 (FPF reported). According to Remmel, Germany needs to follows this lead. The German Association of the Plastic Industry rejects his demands and refers to the recommendations of the BfR.

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Jan Drebes (May 2, 2015). “NRW fordert Verbot von Gift in Plastikgeschirr.” RP Online (in German)