Success: European Parliament votes for a ban on BPA in food packaging | Breast Cancer UK

Success: European Parliament votes for a ban on BPA in food packaging

Published 6 Oct 2016

Today MEPs backed a report calling for better regulation of chemicals in food packaging, and supported an amendment recommending an EU-wide ban on the use of Bisphenol-A (BPA) in food contact materials

Breast Cancer UK wrote to MEPs asking them to support the report and the amendment on BPA, and welcomes the result of the vote.

As we set-out in the run up to the vote, the report argues that the current rules on chemicals in food packaging are incomplete, and calls for comprehensive EU wide regulations. It highlights the need for regulators to recognise that pregnant and breastfeeding women are particularly vulnerable to the effects of hazardous chemical exposures.

Chemicals used in food packaging can leach into food, and subsequently into our bodies. Some of the chemicals used are endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), such as BPA, which have been associated with various diseases and conditions, including an increased risk of breast cancer (1). Studies suggest BPA may be linked to breast cancer risk (2), and even very low levels of exposures have been found to have adverse effects on breast tissue (3).

The European Parliament has spoken, and it has sent a clear message to the European Commission that we need to get hazardous chemicals like BPA out of our food packaging. The ball is now in the European Commission’s court – it is up to the Commission to begin drafting improved regulations that protect our health.

You can contact the Commission with your concerns about chemicals in food contact materials by emailing:


(i) Seachrist, D. D. et al. (2016). A review of the carcinogenic potential of bisphenol A. Reproductive Toxicology 59: 167-182

(ii) ibid

(iii) Pfeifer, D. et al. (2015). Effects of low-dose bisphenol A on DNA damage and proliferation of breast cells: the role of c-Myc. Environmental Health Perspectives 123:1271–1279.

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