This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

PPMA concerns over Bisphenol A controversy

07 April 2010

EXCLUSIVE Chris Buxton, PPMA CEO, says he's watching the BPA debate with 'genuine concern and interest' after The Independent reported some of Britain's best-known foods contain the controversial chemical

The report in The Independent, which appeared in Thursday's edition said tins of Heinz baked beans, soup and beans, John West and Princes fish, and Napolina tomatoes are lined with a membrane containing bisphenol A, or BPA. Other companies using it in their tins, The Independent claimed, include Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda, who use it for tins of tuna and sardines.

The Independent further reported the FSA has given the chemical the all-clear, in contrast to the US Food & Drug Administration, which in January expressed concern over its impact on the brains and development of young children and said it was 'taking reasonable steps to reduce human exposure' to it in the food supply.

''There is a lot of controversy surrounding packaging materials which PPMA members are often considered to be able to influence but as processing and packaging machinery suppliers we don't have such a direct influence over the food manufacturers or the design of the products,'' Chris Buxton told FP Express.

''We're simply asked to meet a machinery specification and deliver it. However, as stakeholders in the packaging industry we're obviously concerned by the findings of the BPA studies, particularly those in the US. When an issue such as this hits the Press, readers and the public in general assume suppliers or manufacturers are trying to hide something but often they're not aware of the problem until it's brought to light by research and developments in detection technology.''

Chris said he was concerned that on this occasion the data seems to have been fairly compelling since as early as 1997 when Professor Frederick vom Saal, of the University of Missouri, said his studies on mice and on human cells kept alive in test tubes had convinced him the intake of bisphenol A that people received in a normal western diet could harm developing male embryos; and yet there is still debate about the use of BPA as a can liner.
''I suspect that like many of these issues there is a tension between a natural desire to be very risk averse and avoid even the slightest risk to health, while trying to balance this against the practicalities of overreacting to data that even the experts are still debating,'' Chris said.

''The situation is analogous to the infamous ‘Soil Guide Line’ controversy which seeks to define the safe levels of soil contamination on brown field sites for housing development. No government official or expert in the field wants to express a ‘safe level’ of contamination for fear of being accused of poisoning a child playing in its own back garden but we have to accept it's simply impossible to completely remove all risk. We watch the BPA debate with genuine concern and interest.”

The FSA could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page


Article image Schoeller Allibert takes bulk containers to the max

Schoeller Allibert has further enhanced its commitment to help companies reduce their environmental impact with the launch of the MaxiLog® bulk container range.Full Story...

Article image Vertical tray packing solved

Incorporating the very latest FANUC M-710iC/45M robot and Pacepacker’s own-design shingle feed end-effector and tray denester, the STL can vertically pack everything from fresh produce bags (e.g. salad, chopped vegetables, stir fry mixes and noodles), to FMCG ambient goods (coffee, dried pasta, flour) and household cleaning products. Full Story...

Thortons stays sweet on Linx

Seaweed chips in compostable NatureFlex™ packaging

Pacepacker’s new Compact Cartesian Palletiser is a fitting solution


Article image Thinking outside the box…

The design brief for this product was to bring ‘bag in box’ wine into the 21st century. In order to do so, it was decided that wine in a box had to become ‘fashionable’. With the knowledge that 8 out of every 10 bottles of wine bought to drink at home are bought by women plus the knowledge that handbags are at the top of a woman’s most wanted list, the Vernissage Wine Handbag was, without doubt, the most obvious fashion choice.Full Story...

Article image Thinking thin: it pays to consult a specialist

With more and more manufacturers looking for lighter, cheaper and more sustainable packaging, it is no wonder that demand for thin wall mouldings is showing a healthy upward curve. Full Story...

Kliklok announces new Managing Director

Dumpy doesn't have to mean frumpy!

Renting plastic RTP from PHS Teacrate is logistical cost-saving solution for SMEs


Article image Artificial intelligence in the food industry

Artificial intelligence (AI) has been heralded as the next best thing since sliced bread. But what might it really mean for the food industry and what are the implications? Stephanie Duvault-Alexandre explains. Full Story...

Article image Reduce, reuse, recover

Taking simple steps to reduce water consumption or access wastewater treatment technology can help change the way this valuable resource in managed, says Simon EmmsFull Story...

A recipe for continuous improvement success

Added value: the best way to deliver ROI

What role does refrigeration play in the supply chain?