The European Commission said a top level meeting today would consider the implications from the opinion published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on 30 September.
Health and consumer policy Commissioner John Dalli said the health uncertainties pinpointed by the food safety watchdog would be scrutinised at the gathering with food contact material experts from across the economic bloc.
He cautioned that further action against BPA may be necessary, even though EFSA said it had found no scientific evidence to support the case for lowering the tolerable daily intake (TDI) for the substance.
“The opinion delivered by EFSA last week confirms the current tolerable daily intake, but it also directs to areas of uncertainty, based on new studies,” said Dalli. “According to the opinion, ‘at present the relevance of these findings for human health cannot be assessed’.”
He added: “It cannot be excluded that there might be an effect on the development, immune response or tumour promotion. This is a new element which will have to be taken into account in possible action to be taken by the Commission".
The Commission said it noted that both Denmark and France had introduced unilateral national bans on BPA in polycarbonate bottles for infants – the section of the population with highest exposure to BPA.
“In view of the uncertainties expressed in EFSA's opinion, the Commission will consider how exposure to BPA of this part of the population could be reduced as low as possible,” said the body in a statement yesterday.
The Commission said today’s meeting would mark the beginning of a discussion with member states of “possible options to achieve” cutting infant exposure to BPA.
Both France and Denmark confirmed they had no immediate plans to lift their BPA bans despite the opinion from EFSA which said current daily safe exposure levels posed no health concerns. The Danish Government told FoodProductionDaily.com it would only lift its prohibition on BPA in food contact materials for children aged three and under if the European Commission imposed an identical EU-wide ban.