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Greg Webb
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Food Safety Bill Comes Under Fire For New BPA Amendment

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A recent amendment proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) to the long-gestating bill to improve food safety has come under fire from the food industry and major business groups. The amendment would ban bisphenol-A from being used in food and beverage containers.

The Senate version of the bill is still waiting to hit the floor, with the House version having passed overwhelmingly last year. But the amendment threatens industry supporters, and as a result they’ve threatened to revoke their support.

Scott Faber, VP of federal affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, said, "We will not support food safety legislation that bans or phases out BPA from any food and beverage container."

BPA has been linked to cancer and developmental and reproductive problems, as well as other health issues, through 200 plus studies. Some companies have voluntarily removed the substance from their products, and several states have banned its use in certain products, mostly children’s food products containers. The chemical is used to strengthen plastics.

The FDA noted in January that it had suspicions about BPA but did not have enough evidence or reason to restrict its use. Instead they elected to study the matter over the next 18 to 24 months. The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institutes of Health are following suit.