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Glass Packaging Institute Expresses Concern over FDA Decision on BPA

March 30, 2012 | Press Release

ALEXANDRIA, Va., —Today, the Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) announced its concern over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) decision rejecting a call to ban the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in food packaging in even the most vulnerable populations such as children and child-bearing women.

The FDA’s decision comes in response to a Court Order to respond to a petition filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) proposing to ban the use of BPA. In its decision, consistent with FDA's prior expression of "some concern" about BPA’s effect on young children, it committed to continue its review of emerging data on BPA. The agency also announced its commitment to perform, monitor and review new studies to influence future regulatory decisions.

GPI welcomes the FDA decision to continue to study the significant emerging science around BPA. "From unsurpassed health protection and taste preservation to recycling advantages and other environmental benefits, glass is clearly the gold standard in packaging," said Lynn Bragg, President of the Glass Packaging Institute. "When consumers eat foods or drink beverages in packaging that contain BPA, they may increase their exposure to a chemical that has prompted study and action. Glass is the optimal packaging choice because it preserves flavor while reducing these toxic health concerns." Glass packaging has been used, preferred, studied and enjoyed for thousands of years.

Glass is the only widely used packaging that is designated by FDA as "generally recognized as safe (GRAS)" — the agency's highest standard. Potential concerns about the use of BPA, a chemical commonly used in plastic packaging and the lining of cans, have been raised by scientists and regulators for many years. Numerous studies have shown that BPA can imitate estrogen, creating the potential for health and environmental effects.

As a result, BPA is being studied globally for a range of potential harms to consumers. "Polycarbonate plastics are made from polymers of BPA. Those plastics used in food containers undergo processes that result in the release of BPA into food, beverages and the environment," said Dr. Wade V. Welshons, a researcher at the University of Missouri and a member of the independent Science Advisory Board of the Glass Packaging Institute. "Over a dozen studies show current human exposure to biologically active levels of this chemical, creating a potential for a variety of health implications."

This research has sparked a global movement away from products containing BPA, as governments across the globe have banned or restricted the use of the chemical. "What's in your packaging can affect what's in your food. That's why glass is the superior packaging choice for consumers and food and beverage manufacturers concerned about BPA," noted Bragg. "In a world that is full of toxic threats, glass is the responsible choice for consumers to protect both their health and the environment."

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The Glass Packaging Institute (GPI) is the trade association representing the North American glass container industry. Through GPI, glass container manufacturers speak with one voice to advocate industry standards, promote sound environmental policies and educate packaging professionals. GPI member companies manufacture glass containers for food, beverage, cosmetic and many other products. GPI also has associate members that represent a broad range of suppliers and closure manufacturers. www.gpi.org

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Through GPI, glass container manufacturers speak with one voice to advocate industry standards, promote sound environmental and recycling policies, and educate packaging professionals. Learn More