Safety concerns over synthetic chemicals in food packaging
Published 19 Feb 2014
In a commentary article published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health today, “Food packaging and migration of food contact materials: will epidemiologists rise to the neotoxic challenge?”, scientists raised concerns over the impact that synthetic chemicals in food packaging might have on our health.
Breast Cancer UK’s Chief Executive, Lynn Ladbrook, said: “Breast Cancer UK fully shares the concerns raised that some of the chemicals used in food packaging could be adversely affecting our health, especially at key stages of development. The warning that our dietary exposure to certain chemicals is not even being considered in toxicology analysis is utterly unacceptable. We cannot begin to begin to understand why diseases, such as breast cancer, are on the rise until we address this issue.”
One of the chemicals cited as a cause for concern is Bisphenol A (BPA), which gives rise to ‘non monotonic’ dose responses meaning that it has varying effects at different doses, even very low ones. Currently, BPA is permitted for use in food and drinks packaging despite a recent opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that it is likely to adversely affect the liver, kidneys and mammary gland.
“Current chemicals regulations are failing to adequately protect our health. Breast Cancer UK is calling for an immediate ban on the use of BPA in food and drinks packaging, as it is well known that our main route of exposure to BPA is via diet. All chemicals should be tested for human health effects, including their impact on hormones and on early life exposures, before being permitted for use in products, such as food and drinks packaging,” concluded Ladbrook.