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We write to the EU Health Commissioner regarding our concerns regarding misleading communication of EFSA’s Bisphenol A report

On 25th February we sent a letter to the EU’s Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, highlighting our concerns with the European Food Standards Agency (EFSA) conclusions on Bisphenol A (BPA), and also asking what progress has been made in addressing the regulatory gaps in our protection from chemicals in food packaging.

On BPA, the letter focusses particularly on the issue we highlighted in our blog when the conclusions on the safety of BPA were published:

“We have a number of concerns about this panel report, however we are particularly concerned and surprised about the way that EFSA has reported the conclusions of this panel. The conclusions of the summary report are different to the message in EFSA’s communication: while the report speaks of “low health concern” for aggregated exposure, the press release only says “no health concern.”…

“Why has the ‘low concern’ conclusion been ignored in the press and communications work around the panel report? Are there any plans for a follow-up on the EFSA conclusions given the considerable uncertainties in the exposure estimate for the non-dietary sources?”

On chemicals in food contact packaging, we follow up our letter in July 2014 to the previous Health Commissioner Tonio Borg:

We were told in August 2014 that your DG would be commissioning research from the Joint Research Centre to understand this issue better, but we are concerned that this research does not seem to have started yet. Our concerns have since been reflected in a conference and an EFSA workshop, which in our view emphasises the need to take rapid action to address this acknowledged area of regulatory deficiency.

Given that it is clear that the current regulatory system for chemicals in food contact materials is not properly protecting the public, we are surprised at the fact that this issue has not already been addressed by DG Health and Food Safety.”

We have now received a reply – click here to read what it says.

This letter has been covered by Chemical Watch and the Food Packaging Forum.