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There has been much in the press recently about the possible risks to health of BPA (Bisphenol A), a synthetic compound found primarily in plastic items such as refillable drinks bottles, the coatings of food and drink cans and certain inks and varnishes.

The compound exhibits hormone-like qualities that is the cause of concern, and animal testing has found that BPA can have an adverse effect on organs.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) launched a two-stage public consultation on the possible harm to health from food absorbing BPA from packaging. Their independent experts have reported that the levels found in food are not judged to be harmful

Interpreting the data

It’s interesting how different countries have reacted to this possible health threat of BPA. Back in 2008 the European Union and Canada banned the use of it in the manufacture of babies’ bottles and soothers. From the 1st January this year France has banned the use of food packaging material or inks and varnishes that contain BPA. The FDA (food and Drug Administration in the US identified possible hazards to fetuses, infants, and young children in a 2010 report, but revised that three years later to report that BPA is safe at the very low levels that occur in some foods.

The effects on the food packaging industry

The debate is far from over as this article in The Daily Mail in October proves.  There is still much research to be done, but what is certain is that responsible manufacturers of food packaging and inks are developing BPA- free products as a matter of urgency, probably because of market pressures as much as safety concerns.

In the manufacture of all Siegwerk products, BPA is not used as an ingredient.

Please get in touch if you need more information about inks for food packaging.