NRDC Lawsuit Finally Prompts FDA to Agree to Determine Safety of BPA
By Sarah Janssen, NRDC Switchboard
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has finally committed to a decision by March 31, 2012 on whether to ban BPA from use in packaging for food and drinks. This was announced today as part of a settlement agreement with NRDC.
More than three years ago, NRDC filed a petition with FDA asking it to ban the use of BPA as a food additive. We waited and we waited, but never got an answer. FDA could have agreed to ban BPA, rejected our petition, or accepted some parts of it and not others, but instead it chose not to respond at all.
Legally, FDA has no more than 180 days to respond to a written petition. We filed that petition in October 2008, so that deadline came and went long ago without any ruling. After waiting 18 months without a response, we filed a lawsuit asking the court to intervene and require a date certain for the agency to respond.
Now, FDA has agreed to give us an answer – 41 months after the petition was filed.
While we are glad FDA is finally going to make a decision BPA in food packaging and this is a major step forward in the legal process, it is discouraging that FDA has not responded and that we had to ask the court to intervene just to get FDA to do its job. The agency has been dragging its feet on making a decision about BPA for far too long. Read More.