Sweden set to ban BPA

Sweden signals intent to banish bisphenol A in can linings

Sweden has signalled its intent to become the first country in world to phase out the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in food and beverage can linings as part of a government strategy to curb human exposure to the controversial chemical.

Under new proposals put forward today by two official agencies, Swedish food processors and packaging companies would have to submit plans by the end of the year on how they intend to substitute current epoxy linings in cans with BPA-free alternatives – or get such a roadmap from their suppliers.

Importers and manufacturers would also be obliged to outline when such alternatives could come to market and be available to the food industry. They would also be required to deliver an assessment on the likely impact of the move on food production and manufacturing.

The report by Swedish Chemical Agency (KEMI) and the National Food Administration (SLV) said exposure to BPA was widespread but that sources of overall exposure were not well-known.

However, it added: “Migration of BPA has been shown primarily for materials coming into contact with food (polycarbonate plastic and the inside surface of epoxy resins in metal packaging for canned food and beverages).”

The proposal appears to support fears voiced recently by plastics and metal packaging trade groups that the EU ban on BPA in baby bottles could trigger a domino effect leading to wider prohibition of the chemical in food packing.

In a comment that was typical of industry concern, the UK Metal Packaging Manufacturing Association said: “Any prohibition, however focussed, will likely lead to an escalation of action into other packaging areas, such as epoxy-based coatings for metal packaging.”…..

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