WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--An Open Letter to Science Reporters, Editors, and Commenters:
In July 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its regulations related to the use of bisphenol A (BPA)-based materials in the manufacturing of plastic baby bottles and sippy cups. A similar action was taken on packaging for infant formula in 2013. The FDA rationale for these actions was clear and straightforward. Yet two years after the FDA action on baby bottles, there remains an unfortunate, yet persistent, mischaracterization of FDA’s action.
Let’s start with what the FDA decision was. FDA’s action was a simple regulatory rule revision -- nothing more, nothing less. The Agency implemented this recordkeeping exercise for the sole purpose of bringing its food additive regulations up to date with modern manufacturing processes and to reflect better what is actually being used in the market.
Let’s also clarify what the FDA decision is not. The FDA action is not a ban nor is it based on any scientific evidence suggesting harm from BPA. It is not an indictment of BPA. Most importantly, it has nothing to do with FDA’s assessment of BPA’s safety, which the Agency continues to support today.
To put FDA’s decision into perspective, consider this analogy: Some of America’s leading telecommunications companies are requesting regulatory relief from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), asking that outmoded reporting requirements drafted during the age of rotary telephones be eliminated. The issue here is not whether the Commission determines that rotary phone technology is good or bad. FCC simply needs to address the utility of existing regulations on outmoded technology. Why have rules on rotary phones in the age of smart phones if they are no longer manufactured? The same applies to BPA in baby bottles and infant formula packaging; it is no longer being used and thus, regulatory rules on it are no longer necessary.
Efficient government is best achieved with regulations that reflect market realities. The FDA decision on baby bottles and infant formula containers was nothing more than an action to achieve this goal.
The North American Metal Packaging Alliance, Inc., and its members support sound science and trust the scientific review process that has protected our food supply for decades. For further information, visit www.metal-pack.org.