The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will not deliver its opinion on bisphenol A until September, saying its experts needed more time to review the 800 research studies on the substance.
But the food safety watchdog rejected the conclusions of the so-called Stump study – which was cited by the Danish Government as the basis for its ban on BPA for children aged 3 and under.
However, the panel said there were areas of uncertainty which needed “further consideration” but stressed these” were not considered of safety concern”.
Tolerable daily intake
It said the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) of 0.05mg/kg bodyweight would therefore be maintained. But an EFSA letter to the European Commission said there was a suggestion to convert this into a “temporary TDI”.
The body’s CEF panel of scientists declared the Stump study does not provide evidence of the chemical affecting neurobehavioural behaviour. Experts dismissed the possibility of a low dose effect on learning ability as expressed in the Danish DTU Food Institute risk assessment.
Commenting on the decision, the European Commission told FoodProductionDaily.com: “The Commission regrets the further delay of the opinion on Bisphenol A. However, we acknowledge the workload associated with a concise and clear evaluation of the extensive published literature on Bisphenol A.”
EC spokesman Frederic Vincent added it would not be pressing Denmark to revoke its BPA ban and would await the full EFSA opinion before deciding on the next steps to take on the issue.
EFSA said the reason for the delay was because the 21 members of the panel had “taken considerably more time than anticipated” to screen the 800 studies on BPA. At its meeting, on 6-8 July, scientists had spent most of the time discussing elements in the studies and had insufficient time to finalise and adopt the full opinion.
The body said it scientists would continue to work throughout the summer via teleconferences to finalise the full opinion and was scheduled to meet in an extraordinary meeting in September to finalise the verdict.