Bisphenol A: European and national experts share experiences of latest work
On 29-30 October, scientific experts and staff from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Member States and other countries participating in EFSA’s Advisory Forum, as well as other European scientific advisory bodies held a one-day meeting to exchange information about each other’s previous or ongoing work related to the safety assessment of bisphenol A (BPA). There was a frank and wide-ranging exchange of information and experiences which all the participants agreed will help them with their respective work on BPA.
This meeting was organised as part of the scientific discussions contributing to the development of EFSA’s ongoing assessment of human health risks associated with BPA, and its new scientific opinion scheduled for completion in May 2013. EFSA frequently promotes dialogue with its national and international partners on the latest scientific developments to ensure that European-level advice is based upon the most up-to-date and reliable information possible.
At the meeting, EFSA outlined developments related to work on its new opinion on the risk assessment of BPA, which is currently being prepared by its scientific Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF Panel). In particular, EFSA scientists explained the Authority’s previous risk assessments of BPA and its developing approach to assessing exposure to BPA and the hazard identification of this substance for its 2013 opinion.
Scientists from the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) of the European Commission and from the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), both of which are responsible for assessing potential risks associated with non-dietary exposure to BPA, passed on their experiences of their safety assessments of BPA used, respectively, in medical devices and in industrial chemicals.
Highlighting the important work on BPA taking place at national level, experts from Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland explained their ongoing scientific work on BPA in several areas including: human exposure to BPA; current levels of BPA in food and other sources; analytical methods; non-dietary sources of exposure to BPA; and recent studies on the toxicity of BPA, including those related to reported low dose effects of BPA. Experts from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Malta, Poland, Spain and the United Kingdom also took part in the meeting.
EFSA published scientific opinions on BPA in January 2007, July 2008 and September 2010. In February 2012, following further consideration of new scientific developments, EFSA’s experts decided to undertake a full re-evaluation of the human risks associated with exposure to BPA through the diet, also taking into consideration the contribution of non-dietary sources to the overall exposure to BPA. EFSA’s new opinion will also further evaluate uncertainties about the possible relevance to human health of some BPA-related effects observed in rodents at low dose levels.
A report on the meeting with national experts and Member States was published after the meeting: Meeting with Member State Experts on Bisphenol A