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Commission confirms intentions on BPA

Press release, Brussels, 22 November 2010 – The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) welcomes a news report that the European Commission has launched discussions on a ban on Bisphenol A in baby bottles.

In an exclusive report in Food Quality News, European Commission is quoted as saying that it wants to introduce a region-wide ban on the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles. (1)

"If this is true, it is a step in the right direction," says Lisette van Vliet, Toxics Policy Advisor at HEAL. "But this only relates to baby bottles. The ban should be for ALL food packaging for infants under 3 years old - and it should quickly be extended to all food packaging because, if babies during pregnancy are to be protected, consumption by women of child-bearing age should be avoided."

HEAL was disappointed earlier this month by the outcome of the World Health Organization expert meeting in Ottawa, Canada, 1-5 November 2010 on Bisphenol A. The WHO opinion was that it would be premature to take any action on Bisphenol A on public health grounds. (2)

HEAL board member, André Cicollela, Réseau Environnement Santé (RES) said: "The conclusion is very surprising because it gives the impression that the scientific evidence is not available. This is far from the reality: almost 500 peer-reviewed studies have been published." (3)

Many of the studies show increased risks for a plethora of health effects from breast and prostate cancer, diabetes and obesity, behavioural and reproductive problems, at doses well below the current ‘tolerable daily intakes’ advised by the US EPA and the European Food Safety Authority. The WHO reasoning is based on a dismissal of the importance of peoples’ daily and continual exposure to this chemical. Moreover, more than 80 studies show that the levels of internal contamination in people is equivalent to levels that produce the mentioned health effects in animal studies. (3)

In September, the European food panel failed to protect EU citizen’s health from plastic component, BPA. (4)

Prior to that HEAL was a signatory to a joint letter sent to EFSA from scientists and organisations across the globe expressed concerns and concluded that. based on the available scientific studies, reducing levels of human exposure to BPA was necessary.

Contacts: Lisette van Vliet– Toxics Policy Advisor, Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL): +32 (0)2 234 3643, mobile: 32 (0)484 614 528, lisette@env-health.org

Diana Smith, Press and Communications, Health and Environment Alliance, Mobile: +33 6 33 2943, Diana@env-health.org

Notes to the editor:

1. European Commission wants ban on bisphenol A in baby bottles FoodQualityNews.com

2. World Health Organization documentation: Joint FAO/WHO meeting, 1-5 November 2010, www.who.int/entity/foodsafet... ; Food is a major source of exposure to bisphenol A, 9 November 2010

3. Press release (in French) on WHO opinion and European Commission position at http://www.reseau-environnement-san...

4. Press release and letter available at http://www.chemicalshealthmonitor.o... Chemical Health Monitor is an initiative of the Health and Environment Alliance (www.env-health.org). The project’s website is in development at www.chemicalshealthmonitor.org

The Health and Environment Alliance aims to raise awareness of how environmental protection improves health. It achieves this by creating opportunities for better representation of citizens’ and health experts’ perspectives in the environment and health-related European policy-making. Our membership includes a diverse network of more than 65 citizens’, patients’, women’s, health professionals’ and environmental organisations across Europe and has a strong track record in increasing public and expert engagement in both EU debates and the decision-making process. www.env-health.org

Last updated on 17 May 2011

About HEAL

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union (EU). We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life. Read more »

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