From A host of industry bodies have voiced their fears that the European ban on bisphenol A in polycarbonate baby bottles could lead to wider prohibition on use of the substance in other forms of packaging.

Leading trade bodies for the metal packaging, food and plastics sectors have also censured the European Commission for its failure to follow the science-based advice of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) – which as recently as September 2010 declared current levels of the chemical in food contact materials did not pose a health risk.

One group even suggested that refusal by the UK to implement ban would send a strong signal over the need to abide by science–based evidence.

The blunt views expressed by major industry players were published just weeks before a full ban on using BPA in infant bottles across the European Union comes into force. Another major theme of the responses centred on fears that the decision would open the door for banning BPA in other forms of packaging.

“Any prohibition, however focussed, will likely lead to an escalation of action into other packaging areas, such as epoxy-based coatings for metal packaging,” observed the MPMA.

The BPF said it was concerned the regulation would “give rise to the risk of unjustified wider prohibitions on the use of BPA in other applications”. Plastics Europe made the same point, warning the impact could be far reaching.

“The effects of such wider prohibitions are difficult to determine but a conservative estimate of potential losses for EU materials producers would be hundreds of millions of Euros,” said the trade group.

In November 2010, the EC told there were currently no plans to extend the ban on BPA in food packaging.

We will keep you informed if any further regulatory changes result from this ban.