The French Senate revised a new law on 9 October 2012 which would ban Bisphenol A (BPA) from food contact materials by July 2015.  The proposal foresees that already by January 2013 foodstuffs intended for children under the age of three shall no longer be packaged in packaging materials containing BPA. In addition, in the intermediate food packaging containing BPA for other market segments will carry a warning label, to protect pregnant women and their unborn babies. France would be the first country to introduce such a general ban of BPA in FCMs.

The amendments included by the senate would further ban certain phthalates from medical devices intended for pregnant or breast feeding woman and children under three as well as some phthalates from the use in pediatric neonatology and maternity services. Finally the senate introduced an article requesting an evaluation of health and environmental risks caused by the increased exposure to endocrine disruptors in our direct environment as well as an assessment of the involved societal costs. Such risk assessment would have to be presented by the French government within one year of the promulgation of the law. The revised law now requires renewed adoption by the French National Assembly.

The senate’s vote follows the French National Health Agency ANSES’s request for a more severe classification of BPA. In a statement released on 26 September 2012, ANSES advised the European Food Safety Authority EFSA to reclassify BPA as a clear reprotoxic agent, based on the existing scientific evidence. To date EFSA’s classification is based on uncertain reproductive toxicity and therefore less severe. EFSA is expected to publish a revision of its scientific opinion on BPA in 2013.

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