April 14, 2010

BPA Q&A with metal packaging group

As part of my bisphenol-A (BPA) article published March 29 on ICIS Chemical Business (ICB), here is my interview with John. M. Rost, chairman of the North American Metal Packaging Alliance (NAMPA). Some of the blog's faithful readers might recall NAMPA on the spotlight of a certain Milwaukee newspaper last year.

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Q: Several food companies and even retailers such as Walmart are moving to phase out BPA in their products, how is NAMPA addressing this development?

Rost: NAMPA fully supports the continued safe use of epoxy coatings for metal packaged foods. Regulatory bodies around the world have deemed BPA-based epoxy coatings to be safe in their current applications; this includes recent reviews by Health Canada, US FDA, European Food Safety Authority, as well as regulatory agencies in Japan and Germany.

NAMPA is also aware of consumer's increasing demand for alternative coatings for metal packaged foods, despite this record of success. NAMPA members are engaged in research programs to deliver those alternatives to consumers who request them. This must be done in the safest manner possible and not be immediate due to testing requirements and regulatory procedures to ensure the safety of any new product.

The current epoxy coatings have an unprecedented safety record when it comes to protecting food from real food safety issues like food borne illnesses . Whether industry is able to develop an alternative that allows for the same level of shelf-life afforded by epoxy resin is yet to be seen.

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