I am responding on behalf of the Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) in the UK. The IFST welcome the proposed legislation, which gives clarity in an area where different approaches have been taken by different Member States.
The IFST believe that legislation should be risk-based upon scientific evidence, and so welcome the setting of an evidence-based SML for BPA. We appreciate the time spent in collating and assessing the, sometimes contradictory, scientific opinions.
Although the proposed legislation for infant food packaging is precautionary, rather than purely risk-based, we appreciate the need for clarity and consistency with existing legislation. We welcome it from this view. We are less comfortable with the “zero tolerance” limit as an SML of BPA from infant food packaging. This is impossible to prove, and can lead to inconsistencies based upon different laboratory detection limits. For the sake of consistency, and consistency with existing legislation, it would be preferable to ban BPA from this use in infant food packaging.
It would be helpful to include an example in Annex I, or associated guidance document, of what would be considered an “acceptable” declaration certificate. The proposed wording in Annex I leaves lots of scope for interpretation. For example, in some cases the pH or the fat content of the food is critical to BPA migration. These are not mentioned, but would an enforcement authority consider it unacceptable if they were omitted from the declaration certificate in cases where they are technically warranted ?
There should be a post-implementation review of this legislation to monitor any unintended consequences; for example, to monitor whether it has driven substitution of BPA with BPS, or another substitute which may have equivalent toxicological concerns.
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