Major business groups representing the food industry, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, say they will not support long-awaited food safety legislation if it includes an amendment banning bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical found in thousands of everyday plastics.
The comprehensive bill, which easily passed the U.S House of Representatives with bipartisan support and is expected to come before the Senate in the next month, would give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration more authority over food production and place more responsibility on manufacturers and farmers to reduce contamination in their products.
An amendment by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., would ban BPA, the primary component of hard and clear polycarbonate plastics — including water bottles, baby bottles, and the linings of canned foods.
“We will not support food safety legislation that bans or phases out BPA from any food and beverage container,” said Scott Faber, vice president for federal affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
While studies have shown that the chemical can cause immune system disorders and disrupt development in animals, that link has not been confirmed for humans.
Last month the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced it will require new studies on the chemical.
Federal officials estimate the chemical is found in the urine samples of 90 percent of the population.
Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.