New Canadian government research reaffirms safety of BPA in food packaging

Despite a lack of mainstream media coverage of their important announcement last week, Health Canada has indeed rejoined health and safety experts around the world in concluding that BPA is safe for use in food packaging materials, sending a clear message to consumers that everyday use of these products is not expected to pose a health risk to adults, newborns or young children.

The report issued by the Canadian government is based on a series of studies conducted by Health Canada over the last four years on BPA exposure from food sources. The studies measured actual BPA concentrations in foods comprising 132 food commodities in 33 food categories, including canned food and drinks, bottled water, baby food and infant formula.

These new data were then combined with food consumption patterns to calculate total BPA exposure from the diet for various age groups. The exposure values are consistent with exposure estimates from other independent data sources, and are well below health-based safe intake levels set by Health Canada and other government agencies worldwide.

Other worldwide health authorities supporting the continued use of BPA in food contact products include the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the European Food Safety Authority and the World Health Organization.

What it took to get here

In 2008, based on the scientific data available at the time, Health Canada concluded that BPA was “not expected to pose a health risk to the general population, including newborns and young children.”

Controversy over BPA continued, however, and two years later the country banned baby bottles containing BPA for precautionary reasons, setting off a chain reaction that instilled fear and worry in consumers and pressured U.S. companies to remove the product from their shelves.

Last week, with their own new data in hand, Health Canada concluded based on the overall weight of evidence that:

…the findings of the previous assessment remain unchanged and Health Canada’s Food Directorate continues to conclude that current dietary exposure to BPA through food packaging uses is not expected to pose a health risk to the general population, including newborns and young children.

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