Alexandre Feigenbaum, head of EFSA’s CEF unit told FoodProductionDaily.com the one-day meeting of 25 scientific experts from 19 different countries heard the safety watchdog outline its draft opinion on BPA.
The national representatives were invited to add any relevant information from their own research that may have a bearing on EFSA’s final verdict on the chemical that is used in polycarbonate bottles and the epoxy lining in food cans. France, Denmark and Germany made presentations of their latest risk assessment work on the issue.
However, the body said it was unable to give any detailed information on the discussions around the draft opinions.
The participants, which also included members of the CEF Panel and representatives of the European Commission, debated the latest research on the topic and critically appraised an EFSA study on neurodevelopmental toxicity of the substance.
The experts also sought to reach a consensus on the methodology that research studies on BPA should employ. In February, the French Food Safety Agency (AFSSA) said flawed methodology in a host of studies on the chemical meant it was unable to accept their conclusions as scientifically sound.
EFSA is due to finalise opinions on both matters by the end of May, with publication earmarked for sometime in June.
Diane Benford, head of chemical risk assessment at the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA), said the study had been received with great interest. She explained the research from EFSA had not raised any new issues although some participants suggested it did not fully address some other concerns raised in other studies.
“It was very interesting to her views from other member states and to discuss various aspects of the science,” she said.
The agency is due to hold a teleconference with global risk assessment bodies this week, including the US Food and Drug Administration, to update them on the meeting and its conclusions, Feigenbaum said