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Food and Nutrition

ARCHIVED - Report on the Health Canada / US-FDA / and Industry BPA Value Chain Meeting - Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - January 30, 2009

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Background

BPA was included in Batch 2 of the Challenge under the Next link will take you to another website Chemicals Management Plan carried out by Health Canada and Environment Canada. On October 18, 2008, the Government of Canada released its final assessment report, including the Government's proposed risk management approach, to ensure that Canadian exposure to BPA is kept as low as possible, particularly for newborns and infants.

Since the publication of the Government of Canada early recommendations in April 2008. which were further reiterated in October 2008, the Bureau of Chemical Safety in Health Canada's Food Directorate has been actively engaged in pursuing efforts to reduce exposure to BPA for infants and newborns from infant formula products.

On January 30th, 2009, in Silver Spring (Maryland), USA, Health Canada's Food Directorate and the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) of the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) organized a follow-up meeting with the North American Metal Packaging Alliance (NAMPA) and various representatives of North American manufacturers and users of food packaging materials containing BPA. This meeting followed previous discussions and information exchanges held between the Bureau of Chemical Safety in Health Canada's Food Directorate and several food packaging representatives, to continue efforts towards the reduction of exposure to BPA from foods destined for infants and newborns such as infant formula.

Meeting Objective

To work towards the development and implementation of a "Code of Practice" aimed at reducing levels of BPA in infant formula can linings following the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle.

Attendees

In attendance at the session were:

  • Several American Industry Representatives including: American Beverage Association, American Chemistry Council, Beer Institute, Can Manufacturers Institute, Grocery Manufacturers Association, International Bottled Water Association, International Formula Council, Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, North American Metal Packaging Alliance, Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Institute, and Society of the Plastics Industry.

  • Several Canadian Industry Representatives including: Canadian Bottled Water Association, Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, Brewers Association of Canada, Food and Consumer Products of Canada, and Refreshments Canada.

  • Health Canada: Bureau of Chemical Safety, Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch.

  • United States Food and Drug Administration: Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Summary

  • Health Canada's Food Directorate summarised the conclusion of its recent risk assessment and reiterated the Government of Canada recommended risk management approach aimed to minimize Canadians' exposure to BPA, in particular for newborns and infants, as a result of the use of this substance in can linings of infant formula.

  • The United States Food and Drug Administration's Centre for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition presented an update of the FDA's "Draft Assessment of Bisphenol A for Use in Food Contact Applications". The presentation summarized the status and findings of the assessment as well as future research endeavours and steps in mitigating BPA exposure.

  • NAMPA presented an overview of the can manufacturing process and the key parameters which may be modified to reduce BPA migration without jeopardizing the safety of the infant formula products or compromising the final package integrity.

  • In addition, NAMPA presented the proposed testing protocol to support industry's efforts towards the development of a "Code of Practice" to reduce levels of BPA in can linings used for infant formula products.

  • Roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders were discussed in the development and implementation of the testing protocol and subsequent code of practice.

  • There were also presentations by the American Chemistry Council to discuss research on BPA and replacement options.

Key Outcomes and Next Steps

  • Support from all stakeholders to further develop the "Code of Practice" aimed at reducing levels of BPA in canned infant formula to the lowest reasonably achievable levels, to meet the commitments of Health Canada's risk management approach.

  • NAMPA presented the final testing protocol which will examine the effect of eight parameters under three different coating cure temperatures (low, medium, and high).  Prototype sample filling was planned for February 4, 2009 with samples being released for shipment to the US FDA, Health Canada, and industry for possible testing.

  • Health Canada's Food Directorate will continue to provide guidance on performance criteria used for analytical methods designed to determine levels of BPA in infant formula.

  • Health Canada will continue its support to research efforts aimed towards the development and implementation of a "Code of Practice" to reduce exposure to BPA for infants and newborns from infant formula products.