Who regulates BPA?
A number of agencies are involved in regulating chemicals in Australia including:
- Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) for the food sold in plastic containers
- The National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) for the safety of the industrial chemicals used
- The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for the safety of the plastic articles themselves.
In New Zealand, chemicals in plastics are regulated by the Environmental Protection Authority and plastic consumer products by the New Zealand Ministry of Consumer Affairs. The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries also does dietary surveys and safety assessments and manages and enforces chemical contaminants in domestic and imported food.
What are Australia and New Zealand doing to reduce levels of BPA in food?
In June 2010, the Australian Government announced the voluntary phase-out by major Australian retailers of polycarbonate plastic baby bottles containing BPA. The phase-out is consistent with approaches taken by governments and industry in a number of other countries and is in response to consumer concerns about BPA. Australian Food and Grocery Council and New Zealand Food & Grocery Council members are voluntarily phasing out the use of BPA in polycarbonate plastic baby bottles and many companies have BPA-free options available. This is in response to consumer preference and demand and not an issue about product safety.
Ongoing monitoring of BPA levels in foods
In 2010, the ACCC completed a study which showed no detectable amounts of BPA migrate from typical infant feeding bottles, infant sip cups and two leading brands of infant formula supplied in Australia. In 2010, FSANZ conducted a targeted analytical survey of the levels of BPA in food and drinks available in Australia, including infant foods. Samples selected for the BPA survey included foods packaged in polycarbonate plastics, steel cans with epoxy lining and some glass jars with metal lids. Results from this survey show that only a small number of samples had levels of BPA and there was no detectable BPA in infant formula prepared in several typical infant feeding bottles.
In 2016 FSANZ published the 2nd phase of the 24th Australian Total Diet Study, which screened food for packaging chemicals. BPA wasn't found at all in many samples and where it was detected levels were well below safety levels.
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