Swedish agencies map out bisphenol A action plan

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Sweden's food safety and chemical agencies met last week to begin mapping out an action plan to decide if the country would impose a national ban on bisphenol A (BPA).

The meeting between the National Food Administration (NFA) and the chemical agency KemI was held last Friday to “set the ground rules” ​on what each body would do to compile the report on the chemical that is due to be handed to the Government by 31 March, 2011, Anna Fransson, head of KemI’s unit for Use and Restrictions told FoodProductionDaily.com.

The NFA will evaluate the case for a BPA ban in food contact materials, while the chemical agency will examine the possible risks posed by the substance in other applications.

Fransson confirmed the NFA would be examining the content of the opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on BPA which is due to be published sometime next month as part of its assessment but that the country was committed to making its own decision on the chemical based on the precautionary principle. She added it was not possible to say whether the Swedish agency would follow recommendations from EFSA until it had scrutinised the report.

Stakeholder group

The authorities agreed to convene a Reference Group consisting of stakeholders from academia, regulatory bodies and industry to help in its deliberations over whether Sweden needs to follow the example set by Denmark and France and introduces a ban on the substance.

The Swedish agencies are due to re-convene in the last week of September to provide more detail on the action plan, before holding a fiscal meeting early the following month, said Fransson.

The appraisal is being undertaken after the Swedish Government ordered its agencies to examine possible health risks posed by the substance earlier this month.

KemI’s effects and toxicological studies and scientific adviser Bert-Ove Lund told FoodProductionDaily.com last week: “The trigger for this investigation is EFSA’s ​(European Food Safety Authority) delay in delivering its safety opinion and the Danes’ decision to ban BPA​.”

As well as making an evaluation of the “need for and prerequisites of a national ban on BPA in certain plastic products”,​ the dossier will also “include provisions for notifying such rules to the European Commission”,​ said a KemI statement.

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