WHO seeks global consensus on bisphenol A

WHO seeks global consensus on bisphenol A

A closed-doors meeting of international scientists is trying to thrash out global consensus on the risks posed to consumers by the chemical bisphenol A (BPA).

Scientists are meeting this week to discuss BPA, a common additive in plastic drinks bottles and aluminium can linings. Canada added the chemical to its list of toxic substances last month, but recent reviews by European and US food safety bodies have cleared BPA for use.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO) plan to release recommendations on how to proceed on a subject that has pitted regulators against each other.

The WHO/FAO papers will include a “description and analysis” of current knowledge on toxicology and exposure to BPA. Participants will “analyse the available scientific data in this area with a view of providing an updated description of potential human health risks related to BPA exposure”, according to a briefing note.

They will also discuss potential alternatives, such as corn-based bio-isosorbides, which could replace BPA in drinks can linings.