EFSA has welcomed the wide ranging and constructive dialogue with more than 60 stakeholders as part of a follow up meeting to discuss the Authority’s draft opinion on bisphenol A (BPA). The meeting, held in Brussels, was attended by representatives of national food safety authorities, EU institutions, NGOs, academia and the food industry.
The event was an important opportunity to engage with those who provided some of the hundreds of comments received during EFSA’s two-stage public consultation on BPA, a substance that is used in food contact materials such as packaging and tableware. This process has ensured that the widest possible range of scientific views and information are considered before EFSA’s Panel on Food Contact Materials, Enzymes, Flavourings and Processing Aids (CEF) adopts its opinion on BPA at the end of 2014. The results of the online public consultation, together with EFSA’s responses to these comments, will be also presented at this time.
Wim Mennes, Chair of the CEF Panel, said: “The aim of this event was to ensure that EFSA has a full understanding of the extensive feedback from our stakeholders prior to the adoption of the final scientific opinion on BPA. I thank all those who provided such valuable information and insights - both through the online public consultations and at this meeting. All the issues raised will be assessed carefully as we finalise our conclusions on the safety of BPA in the coming months.”
Stakeholders submitted almost 500 comments during the online public consultations which ran for a total of nearly four months from July to September 2013 and from January to March 2014. The comments were received from a broad range of interested parties including NGOs members of the public, academia, national food safety agencies and the food industry.
The meeting marks the completion of EFSA’s extensive efforts to canvas opinion from stakeholders and other interested parties on its draft assessment of BPA. The double public consultation mirrors the two-step approach taken by the Authority in developing its opinion on the chemical. The first part of the review on human exposure to BPA was published in summer 2013. It was followed by a draft evaluation human health risks at the start of 2014.
Presentations from the meeting will be made available in due course on EFSA’s website.