EU watchdog says no need to cut cap on BPA in food
MILAN (Reuters) - The European Union's food safety watchdog said it saw no need to cut the official limit on accepted exposure to bisphenol A, a chemical in plastic containers which some experts believe may harm human health.
Some European countries have sought to lower bisphenol A (BPA) intake after several recent scientific studies linked exposure to increased risk of health problems such as heart disease, breast cancer and diabetes.
"Following a detailed and comprehensive review of recent ... studies on the toxicity of bisphenol A at low doses," scientists concluded, "they could not identify any new evidence which would lead them to revise the current tolerable daily intake (TDI)," the European Food Safety Authority said on Thursday.
"The panel also state that the data currently available do not provide convincing evidence of neurobehavioural toxicity of BPA," EFSA said.
EFSA said the current TDI level of 0.05 mg per kg of body weight was set in 2006 and reconfirmed in a 2008 opinion.
Earlier this year, a group of 60 scientists and health campaigners from 15 countries said in an open letter to EFSA they feared exposure to BPA could damage health, particularly among vulnerable groups such as babies and pregnant women.
BPA is a mass-produced chemical used in the manufacture of polycarbonate plastics. It is found in plastic food and drink packaging, such as baby bottles and sports bottles, and as an epoxy resin in canned food and drinks and storage containers.
EFSA experts have acknowledged that some recent studies showed biochemical changes in the central nervous system, effects on the immune system and enhanced susceptibility to breast cancer in animals exposed to BPA at doses well below those used to determine the current TDI.
However, such studies have many shortcomings, and their relevance for human health cannot be assessed at present, EFSA said, adding its experts would reconsider this opinion should any new relevant data become available in the future.
(Reporting by Svetlana Kovalyova, editing by Jane Baird)
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