Tuesday 23 March 2010
The resins that are used to coat the insides of some food cans contain the chemical bisphenol-A. This coating allows canned food to be heated to kill off bacteria without the metal in the can contaminating the food contents.
Bisphenol-A is one of a large number of substances that may have the potential to interact with our hormone systems.
These substances are referred to as 'endocrine disrupters'. Research is still going on to establish whether or not bisphenol-A has this effect in humans.
Endocrine disrupters are substances that have the potential to interact with hormone systems. Particular concern has focused on the sex hormones, the female oestrogens and male androgens, because of their important roles in the development of our reproductive systems.
Although there is evidence that some wildlife species have been affected by coming into contact with endocrine disrupters, there is still no conclusive evidence of a link between harmful effects on human reproductive health and exposure to these chemicals.
Yes. The European Framework Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004 on Materials and Articles Intended to come into Contact with Foodstuffs lays down the general safety requirements for all materials and articles. These regulations require that materials and articles containing BPA, such as some can coatings, do not make food harmful. The regulations also make sure that they do not change the nature, substance or quality of the food.
The Plastic Materials and Articles in Contact with Food (England) (No.2) Regulations 2006 permit the use of BPA in the manufacture of plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with food, provided that no more than 0.6 mg/kg migrates into the food.
Food Contact Materials Unit
Food Standards Agency
London WC2B 6NH
Tel: 020 7276 8548
Fax: 020 7276 8446