The FDA has committed to decide by March 31, 2012 whether BPA (bisphenol A) should be banned from use in packaging for food and drinks, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). After a three-year delay, FDA agreed to address the use of BPA as part of a court settlement reached with NRDC.
“Every day, millions of American consumers are exposed to this dangerous chemical, commonly used in packaging for canned foods, beverages and even baby formula,” says Dr. Sarah Janssen, a senior scientist in the Environment and Public Health program at NRDC. “The FDA has an obligation to protect us from toxic food additives. As thousands of studies have already shown, BPA is a dangerous chemical that has no place in the food chain. Its use in food and beverage containers needs to be banned.”
BPA can be found in the linings of beer or soda cans, vegetable or soup cans and liquid infant formula containers as well as consumer products made from polycarbonate plastics, including reusable water bottles. Consumer demand has already driven baby bottles and sippy cups containing the chemical from store shelves.
“This is a major milestone in this legal battle, and we hope FDA moves to eliminate this dangerous chemical from the food supply,” says Aaron Colangelo, an NRDC attorney.
In 2008, NRDC filed a petition with FDA requesting a ban on BPA in food packaging, food containers and any material likely to come in contact with food. When FDA did not respond, as required by law, NRDC sued in 2010 asking the court to require the agency to respond. The settlement dated December 7, 2011 from the US District Court for the Southern District of New York will require FDA to respond to NRDC’s petition by March 31, 2012.