By Mike Barrett
A major decision will soon be made which will ultimately determine whether or not a known hazardous chemical will continue to inhibit food products, plastic packaging, personal care products, and an abundance of other common items. By March 31, the United States Food and Drug Administration will decide if toxic chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) will continue to be used in widescale production.
FDA Could Potentially Ban BPA, Decision to be Made by March 31
In 2010, Canada was one of the first nations to take a large step in the fight against BPA. Even in the face of industry opposition, Canada has declared BPA to be a toxic substance. Although in 2009 the American Chemistry Council filed a formal notice of objection in labeling BPA as toxic, under the argument that it is indeed safe, the objection was rejected on July 27 2010. More recently, French lawmakers decided to ban bisphenol-A from being used in all food packaging. Maybe the U.S. will catch up in protecting public health from bisphenol-a on March 31, or maybe not.
While the ban may potentially occur shortly after the decision made by French lawmakers, the FDA says that the potential U.S. ban of BPA is prompted by a 2008 lawsuit filed against the FDA by the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC). Months before the lawsuit, the NRDC filed a petition with the FDA requesting that BPA be banned from food packaging. No more than 180 days can pass before the FDA legally has to respond to written petitions, but according the NRDC, the FDA failed to meet the deadline and therefore filed suit to force a response. Although the FDA is now finally answering, it took court intervention just for the organization to do it’s job.