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France to ban BPA by 2015

Posted on 10 October 2012

The French Senate has adopted a law that will ban the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in food contact applications from 2015.

The Social Affairs Committee passed a bill to suspend the manufacture, import, export and placing on the market of any food packaging containing Bisphenol A (BPA).

BPA is a chemical used in the lining of some food and drinks cans. A number of studies have shown that once ingested, BPA is efficiently broken down within the digestive system and excreted via urine.

The Committee, on the initiative of its rapporteur, Patricia Schillinger, passed a bill to:

- Ban the use of BPA in packaging aimed at babies and children up to the  age of three by 1 January, 2013.
- Introduce a warning label on packaging for pregnant and feeding mothers.
- Introduce a complete ban on the use of BPA in food contact applications by 1 January, 2015.

The Senate quoted scientific studies carried out by French research bodies Inserm and Anses, and says the toxicity of BPA is proven in animals and suspected in humans. It added that it does not have to “wait for absolute proof of causalty or understand the exact mechanisms to protect the health of populations.”

The Senate also acknowledged the difficulties the packaging industry will face in finding alternative packaging materials.

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