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FDA Confirms BPA Exposure From Food Containers is Safe

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) again has affirmed its position that Bisphenol A (BPA) "is safe at the current levels occurring in foods." In a December 5, 2014 update to its webpage memoranda on BPA, FDA further noted that, based on its ongoing safety review of the scientific evidence, "the available information continues to support the safety of BPA for the currently approved uses in food containers and packaging."

These currently regulated uses do not include BPA-based polycarbonate resins in baby bottles and sippy cups or BPA-based epoxy resins used as coatings in packaging for infant formula. FDA amended its regulations to drop the clearance for BPA for such uses in July 2012 and July 2013 in response to separate petitions filed by the American Chemistry Council and by Congressman Edward Markey, respectively. The amendments to drop BPA for such uses are not based on safety, but because, as FDA explained, regulatory clearances are no longer needed for these uses because they have been "permanently and completely abandoned."

The Agency's most recent pronouncement is the result of a four-year review of more than 300 scientific studies on BPA by a scientific working group comprised of FDA experts in the fields of toxicology, analytical chemistry, endocrinology, epidemiology, and others. Their review was completed in Fall, 2014 and documented in the following four memoranda:

  • Final Report for the Review of Literature and Data on BPA (June 6, 2014)
  • 2014 Updated Review of Literature and Data on Bisphenol A (June 6, 2014)
  • 2012 Updated Review of Literature and Data on Bisphenol A (August 22, 2013)
  • Updated Review of the ‘Low-Dose' Literature (Data) on Bisphenol A and Response to Charge Questions Regarding the Risk Assessment on Bisphenol (May 24, 2011)

The evaluated studies gave no indication that a revision to FDA's safety assessment of BPA in food packaging was necessary at this time, FDA confirmed. FDA said that it would continue its review of information relevant to the safety of BPA as new data become available and will take further action if warranted.

FDA's memoranda and additional information regarding Bisphenol A are available on FDA's website.