Against the recommendations of environmental and health groups, the FDA has decided not to ban BPA in food packaging.
Last month many environmental and health groups (not to mention countless individual citizens and consumers) held their breath as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it would decide by March 31 whether or not to ban bisphenol A (BPA) in food packaging, such as the linings of food cans (check out our post here).
The bad news
The verdict is in, and the news is not good—the FDA decided to take no action against BPA in food packaging. They claim that BPA is safe as it is used. Along with canned food linings, it can be found in hard, clear #7 plastics such as water bottles, and thermal paper such as receipts.
The good news
Although those in the US may have to wait before this issue is raised by the government again, Canadians can still act by contacting their MPs and demanding that BPA be removed from food packaging in Canada. After all, Canada has already labelled the substance as toxic, and removed it from baby bottles.
Additionally, consumers can take actions to limit their exposure to BPA by following these tips. Consumers can also write emails to their favourite food companies and urge them to find another way to line their food cans. It is possible, as demonstrated by the handful of companies using non-BPA liners. Companies are very responsive to consumers, and if there is enough demand, they will surely change.
If you’re just tuning in and haven’t heard much about BPA, here’s the lowdown. BPA is a chemical that disrupts hormones by binding to estrogen receptors in the body. It is thought to contribute to certain types of cancer, to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, miscarriages, diabetes, and behavioural dysfunction in children. Recently, it has also been labelled as a suspected obesogen—meaning that it may contribute to obesity.