On March 31, 2015 the advocacy group for chemical safety CHEM Trust announced that the European Commission (EC) had replied to their letter regarding the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) conclusions on bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7) (FPF reported). CHEM Trust is concerned that communication of EFSA’s BPA report was misleading. In the reply letter dated March 24, 2015, the EC’s Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) distances the Commission from EFSA’s communication on risk assessment. DG SANTE stresses that EFSA is an independent authority and as such responsible for communication on risk assessment. Since DG SANTE passed responsibility on to EFSA, CHEM Trust will now contact EFSA to get to the bottom of this issue. The letter also mentions the discussion regarding a potential ban on BPA in thermal paper. DG SANTE notes that EFSA and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) are already working together to evaluate the risk from BPA exposure via thermal paper. In their letter, CHEM Trust additionally inquired about inadequacies in the regulation of chemicals in food contact materials (FCMs), particularly asking about the promised research from the Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) to understand this issue better. DG SANTE confirmed that the JRC is now working on a “baseline” study to fully establish the current state of the EU market and regulatory situation concerning FCMs for which harmonized legislation at the EU level is currently lacking. CHEM Trust has already followed up the letter with a request for the terms of reference of the JRC study, but has not yet received an answer.

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CHEM Trust (March 31, 2015). “EU Commission replies to our letter on misleading communication of Bisphenol A risk assessment, and on study into chemicals in food contact packaging.

Letter from DG SANTE (pdf)