The Senate's take on the food safety bill (which passed the House last year with overwhelming bipartisan support) will give the FDA new regulatory authority over food production, and will place new responsibilities for food safety on manufacturers.
But now some big food industry groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Grocery Manufacturers Association(GMA), might withdraw support for the bill due to an amendment added by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.). The amendment bans bisphenol-A, also known as BPA, from all food and beverage containers. BPA is a plasticizer used in many food applications, such as linings and baby bottles.
BPA has been linked to cancer and developmental and reproductive problems, and until recently the FDA asserted that the product was safe. This past January the FDA cited "some concern" for the chemical. They will spend the next two years researching the effects of BPA.
Now some industry organizations are fighting the bill. “We will not support food safety legislation that bans or phases out BPA from any food or beverage container,” said Scott Faber, vice president for federal affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, in a letter to Senate leaders. “We trust FDA to complete a safety assessment for BPA, and we don’t think the Senate should short-circuit and undermine the FDA.”