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The French Food Safety Agency (AFSSA) has recommended that consumers should be alerted to the presence of bisphenol A (BPA) in packaging via a system of “systematic labelling”.

According to, labelling would allow consumers to avoid excessively heating containers that contain BPA. Heating has been shown to accentuate the migration of BPA from food contact materials into food and drink.

AFSSA director general Marc Mortureux was quoted as saying recent studies indicate that BPA exposure below the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) among pregnant women could have toxic effects.

These latest recommendations follow an analysis of more than 700 studies on the presence of BPA in food.

AFSSA was reported to have said this research shows that average exposure to BPA in France, at 1µg/kg of body weight a day, is actually well below the TDI which the European Food Safety Authority has set at 50 µg/kg.

But average exposure figures hide possible differences between people that may result from different eating habits. For example, AFSSA said the data on BPA reveals that levels of migration can vary significantly according to packaging type and product category.

In addition, the evidence surrounding the sensitivity of pregnant women to BPA suggests that TDI may need to be reconsidered.

EFSA is expected to approach this question as well as debates on the methodology used to evaluate BPA risks in an opinion that is due before the end of May.

On the back of the publication of the opinion, Mortureux called for an examination at a European level of measures to reinforce consumer protection and reduce exposure levels.

The director general of AFSSA also urged industry to mobilise itself to develop appropriate alternatives to BPA for food packaging.


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