On March 30, USFDA rejected a petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and other environmental groups to ban bisphenol-A (BPA), saying there was not enough scientific evidence to establish risks to human health. In its announcement, and in an associated Fact Sheet, FDA conceded that this was not the “final word” and confirmed its committment to further research on the safety of BPA.

In its petition, the NRDC had sought a ban on BPA in food packaging, food containers, and other food-contact materials, citing animal studies purporting to establish BPA as an endocrine-disrupting chemical linked to brain and chromosomal abnormalities and certain cancers.

BPA is permitted for use in food contact materials in the European Union (EU) under Regulation 10/2011/EU, relating to plastic materials and articles intending to come into contact with foodstuffs. In January 2011, the European Commission adopted Directive 2011/8/EU, prohibiting the use of BPA for the manufacture of polycarbonate infant feeding bottles.

A copy of the FDA Fact Sheet released on March 30, 2012 is posted below.

Although we do not comment on the merits of the issues, we will register our disapproval of the unprofessional comments by representatives of major environmental groups that have been reported in the media regarding FDA's position on BPA. Our readers who are both lawyers and scientists know that neither science nor law is advanced when we reject the rules of principled argument and resort to the types of unprofessional comment that are a feature of the mass-market media.