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04-10-2013

Plastics Europe: Initial Comment on the Anses Reports

Prior to a comprehensive review of all four reports, the PC/BPA and ERC members express concern at the conclusions presented by Anses.

The Anses conclusion is in direct contrast to the most recent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) interim update of its opinion on BPA published last week, which is taking a holistic approach towards the evaluation of the most recent science on BPA. On that basis, FDA reconfirmed the safety of BPA: “FDA’s current assessment is that BPA is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods. This assessment is based on review by FDA scientists of hundreds of studies including the latest findings from new studies initiated by the agency.”

Anses apparently based its assessment on a selective approach not following a full weight of evidence assessment to define the safety threshold. The studies selected as starting point have already been evaluated and judged to be inadequate for regulatory risk assessment purposes on multiple occasions by the European Food Safety Agency EFSA and other global regulatory bodies. The authors of the Anses report themselves recognize the limited quality of these studies. The risk-based approach taken by EFSA and other regulatory authorities, which included the assessment of studies referenced by Anses, concluded that exposure to BPA from food contact materials is very low and poses no risk to human health in their intended applications.

In its reports, Anses in fact reconfirms existing knowledge. The main exposure route to BPA is food contact, exposure levels in the French population are very low and far below of broadly accepted safe levels, and comprehensive evidence showing that BPA is efficiently removed from the body within hours via urine. Claims that link BPA to e.g. cancer are not supported by robust research studies that have thoroughly investigated this question.

“We still cannot follow the Anses interpretation of the existing scientific evidence. It seems to disregard the accepted norms of European risk assessment and is in contrast to the EFSA opinion and the statements made by other regulatory authorities worldwide”, says Jasmin Bird of the PC/BPA-group.

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