While controversy continues to surround the safety of BPA (bisphenol-A), the widely used chemical compound found in a variety of polycarbonate plastics, France's ecology minister, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, announced she's seeking labeling requirements for any food containers that contain BPA sold in France.
"What I propose first of all is systematic labeling of products containing BPA when the product comes into contact with the public," the minister told the AFP (Agence France-Presse), citing the measure would be introduced swiftly. As well, she's also proposing a ban on any BPA where a reasonable substitution could be made with a safer product.
The announcement comes after the review of a report submitted by the Agency for Food Health and Safety (France's FDA equivalent) that Kosciusko-Morizet found to be "troubling" and more than a year after French parliament banned baby bottles containing BPA. The report found that even in low doses, "confirmed" effects were seen in lab animals leading to concern of the effects of the endocrine disruptor on humans and unborn babies. Several studies have linked BPA to heart disease, thyroid problems, reproductive issues and certain types of cancer.
Canada became the first country to declare BPA a toxic substance in September 2010. And despite growing concerns worldwide, U.S. agencies say they are powerless when it comes to regulating the use of BPA. The U.S. Health and Human Services' website states "recent studies have reported subtle effect of low doses of BPA in laboratory animals. While BPA is not proven to harm children or adults, these newer studies have led federal health officials to express some concern about the safety of BPA."
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