The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has finalised a strategy for its re-evaluation of the toxicity of bisphenol A (BPA) following a public consultation period.
In a 14 Dec statement, the European body said a “scientific protocol” had been published which outlined the scope, methodology and information needs before the assessment starts in 2018.
Additionally, the outcome of EFSA's external consultation on the preparatory work has been published.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced in June that it had identified Bisphenol A as a substance of very high concern (SVHC), because of “its endocrine disrupting properties which cause probable serious effects to human health.”
The substance was originally developed as a synthetic mimic of the female sex hormone oestrogen. But today, BPA-derived plastics are generally used in an extensive range of products, including CDs and DVDs, personal computers, medical devices, and food and drink containers.
EFSA has assessed the material's safety for use in food contact a number of times, most recently in 2015.
It committed to re-evaluate BPA toxicity in 2015 again, after the Consortium Linking Academic and Regulatory Insights on BPA Toxicity (CLARITY-BPA project) published its results.
As part of the commitment, EFSA publicly consulted on a draft version of the protocol and drafted on 30 Nov, rules for the future re-evaluation of BPA.
For the next phase of the project, EFSA will set up a new working group in 2018 and start collecting scientific papers and data.
This will include the report of the CLARITY-BPA two-year core study on rodents and publications of academic studies developed from the CLARITY study, when they become available.
EFSA will continue to liaise with the European Chemicals Agency and national scientific advisory bodies in EU member states who are also working on BPA.