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Canada declares BPA safe to use in food packaging


CamelBak brand water bottles hang on display at an outdoor supply store on April 16, 2008 in Arcadia, California.


David McNew

Canada has upheld its stance on BPA (bisphenol A ) — deeming it safe for food packaging, despite banning it from baby bottles.

According to ABC News, BPA — used to make plastic containers and can linings — has been found to leach out of plastic when heated.

Mother Jones cited a 2003 survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which found detectable levels of BPA in 93 percent of urine samples in Americans six years old and older.

The Canadian government determined in 2008 that despite the leaching, studies showed the chemical was "not expected to pose a health risk to the general population, including newborns and young children," ABC reported.

Despite that, Ottawa announced two years later declared the chemical "toxic" and banned it from baby bottles.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq reportedly said at the time:

"Our science indicated that bisphenol A may be harmful to both human health and the environment and we were the first country to take bold action in the interest of Canadians." 

However, Health Canada's Bureau of Chemical Safety, in a report released Thursday, wrote:

"Based on the overall weight of evidence, the findings of the previous assessment remain unchanged and Health Canada's Food Directorate continues to conclude that current dietary exposure to BPA through food packaging uses is not expected to pose a health risk to the general population, including newborns and young children."

The Canadian announcement came just two months after the US Food and Drug Administration banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and children's' sippy cups.

More from GlobalPost: Food and drug agency bans chemical BPA from use in manufacture of baby bottles, sippy cups 

However, the FDA refused to ban the use of BPA in food packaging following a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

The North American Metal Packaging Alliance issued a statement welcoming the Canadian report, quoting chairman Dr. John Rost as saying:

"Today’s determination should put to rest once and for all any doubts as to where the Canadian government stands regarding the safety of BPA in food packaging. Health Canada’s assessment is based on actual exposure among all age groups from real-life food and beverage products, and should provide reassurance to consumers everywhere that BPA in food packaging is safe."