The Food and Drug Administration will have to decide by March 31 whether to ban the use of BPA in food and beverage packaging, due to a settlement between the FDA and the watchdog group Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
Which way will the FDA go? Will it ban BPA? Why or why not? How will the government weigh the science, the economics, industry pressure, non-profit pressure, the lack of well studied alternatives? Even if you are unsure, what odds are you giving the ban? We can assume that food and packaging industries are working on alternatives – and probably already have some, though they may be more expensive or less convenient than BPA.
C&EN’s coverage of the BPA controversy has been like the epoxy coating on a soup can – pretty darned comprehensive. I was going to post a list of stories, but the search page returned 100 of them. So for timeliness and brevity I direct you to Steve Ritter’s two part cover story. Go back and refresh your memory on Debating BPA’s Toxicity and Exposure Routes Confound BPA Debate.
Or, here’s the shortest possible summary of the status right now:
NRDC’s says that a ban is warranted because it is a “chemical that causes brain damage in developing babies, infants and young children.”
The American Chemistry Council, the main trade group for U.S. chemical manufacturers, recently agreed that the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups should be banned (though they did so after manufacturers had already stopped using it in those applications). ACC continues to say that BPA is safe in food and beverage containers.
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