ARCHIVED - Report on the Health Canada / US-FDA / Infant Formula Industry Meeting towards the development of a "Code of Practice" aimed at reducing levels of BPA in infant formula can linings - Ottawa, June 19, 2008

Background

BPA was included in Batch 2 of the Challenge under the Chemicals Management Plan carried out by Health Canada and Environment Canada. On October 18, 2008, the Government of Canada released its final assessment report, including the Government's proposed risk management strategies, to ensure that Canadian exposure to BPA is kept as low as possible, particularly for newborns and infants.

Since the publication of the Government of Canada early recommendations in April 2008. which were further reiterated in October 2008, the Bureau of Chemical Safety in Health Canada's Food Directorate has been actively engaged in pursuing efforts to reduce exposure to BPA for infants and newborns through infant formula products.

On June 19th, 2008, in Ottawa (Ontario), Canada, Health Canada's Food Directorate organized a follow-up meeting with participation from the Centre for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) of the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA), the North American Metal Packaging Alliance (NAMPA) and various North American Infant Formula Manufacturers. This meeting followed previous discussions and information exchanges held between the Bureau of Chemical Safety in Health Canada's Food Directorate and several infant formula manufacturers, including their packaging suppliers, to continue efforts towards the reduction of exposure to BPA from foods destined for infants and newborns such as infant formula.

Meeting Objective

To work towards the development and implementation of a "Code of Practice" aimed at reducing levels of BPA in infant formula can linings following the ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle.

Attendees

In attendance at the session were:

  • Several North American infant formula manufacturers including Abbott Laboratories; H.J. Heinz Co. of Canada; Mead Johnson; Nestlé Nutrition; and, PBM Nutritionals.
  • The North American Packaging Alliance: Ball Corporation; Crown Packaging; and, Silgan Containers.
  • Health Canada: Bureau of Chemical Safety, Food Directorate, Health Products and Food Branch.
  • United States Food and Drug Administration: Centre for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

Summary

  • Health Canada's Food Directorate summarised the conclusion of its recent risk assessment and reiterated the Government of Canada recommended risk management strategies aimed to minimize Canadians' exposure to BPA, in particular for newborns and infants, as a result of the use of this substance in can linings of infant formula.
  • NAMPA presented a testing protocol proposal to support industry's efforts towards the development of a "Code of Practice" to reduce levels of BPA in can linings used for infant formula products.
  • Scientists from Health Canada's Food Directorate discussed the strengths and challenges of the NAMPA proposal including consensus on an improvement agenda and next steps for the development and implementation of the protocol and the code of practice
  • Roles and responsibilities of the different stakeholders were discussed in the development and implementation of the testing protocol and subsequent code of practice

Key Outcomes and Next Steps

  • Support from all stakeholders to further develop the "Code of Practice" aimed at reducing levels of BPA in canned infant formula to the lowest reasonably achievable levels, to meet the commitments of Health Canada's risk management strategy.
  • NAMPA to refine testing protocol and circulate an updated protocol to scientists at Health Canada and the US-FDA for input and further discussion.
  • Health Canada's Food Directorate committed to provide guidance on performance criteria used for analytical methods designed to determine levels of BPA in infant formula.
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