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  5. Bisphenol A (BPA)
  1. Food Packaging & Other Substances that Come in Contact with Food - Information for Consumers

Bisphenol A (BPA)

Overview & Updates

BPA (Bisphenol A) is a chemical used in certain food contact materials and first approved by FDA in the early 1960s. In recent years, concerns have been raised about BPA's safety. In August 2008, FDA released a draft report finding that BPA remains safe in food contact materials.

On October 31, 2008, a subcommittee of FDA's science board raised questions about whether FDA's review had adequately considered the most recent scientific information available. In the fall of 2014, FDA experts from across the agency, specializing in toxicology, analytical chemistry, endocrinology, epidemiology, and other fields, completed a four-year review of more than 300 scientific studies. The FDA review has not found any information in the evaluated studies to prompt a revision of FDA’s safety assessment of BPA in food packaging at this time.

The studies reviewed were published or available from November 1, 2009 to July 23, 2013. The review was documented in four memoranda and their attachments:

Additional information on assessments and the science board is also available.

On January 15, 2010 and again updated in March 2012, March 2013, July 2014, and November 2014, FDA issued updates on BPA, including FDA's perspective. The update also includes information on:

  • Additional Studies
  • Public Comment and Next Steps for FDA's Assessment of BPA
  • Interim Public Health Recommendations
  • The Regulatory Framework for BPA
  • Collaboration with International Partners. 

For FAQs, see Questions & Answers on Bisphenol A (BPA) Use in Food Contact Applications.

Response to Petition on BPA

The FDA is currently reviewing a BPA petition we received and filed as provided for under the FDA’s procedural regulations for food additive petitions. When we file a food additive petition requesting that the FDA revoke an authorization, we are reviewing the information submitted in the petition to determine whether it contains sufficient data to establish the existence of safety questions significant enough to support a finding that the authorized use is no longer safe under Sections 409 or 721 of the FD&C Act. For more information about the petition process, see: Guidance for Industry: Questions and Answers About the Food Additive or Color Additive Petition Process. We will publish our response to the petition in the Federal Register once we have completed our review. Our regulatory decisions remain grounded in a robust evaluation of the totality of the available science on the use of food additives, including substances used in food packaging.

On October 28, 2008, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) submitted a citizen petition regarding BPA. The petition requested that the Commissioner of Food and Drugs:

  • Issue a regulation prohibiting the use of BPA in human food and packaging, and
  • Revoke all regulations permitting the use of any food additive that may result in BPA becoming a component of food.

On March 30, 2012, the FDA denied this request in accordance with 21 CFR 10.30(e)(3). In its response, the FDA stated that:

  • The information provided in the citizen petition was not sufficient to persuade FDA to initiate this rulemaking.
  • The most appropriate course of action at this time is to continue scientific study and review of all new evidence regarding the safety of BPA.
  • Although FDA was not persuaded by the data and information in the NRDC citizen petition to initiate rulemaking to revoke the food additive approvals for BPA, FDA will continue in its broader and more comprehensive review of emerging data and information on BPA. Depending on the results, any of these studies or data could influence FDA’s assessment and future regulatory decisions about BPA.

See Letter to Natural Resources Defense Council - Petition Denial

Additional Information from FDA about BPA and Food Contact Substances

Other Official Assessments

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