BPA hazard is very real

Ms Amy Loh Chee Seen cited reviews and studies by several organisations on plastic and bisphenol-A (BPA) to back her reassurances about the safety of plastics (Don't panic, plastic and styrofoam packaging are OK; May 9).

Her conclusion, however, is too simplistic.

Although the European Food Safety Authority supported the conclusion that there was no evidence of BPA causing cancer in people, its assessment was done in 2006 and it also said that it would evaluate its stance as new information becomes available.

It must be noted that the health effects associated with BPA go beyond cancer.

Ms Loh also quoted the Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety.

While the Centre describes itself as a food authority, it is mostly a watchdog and advisory body, and is not known for extensive scientific experiments.

Furthermore, in a 2011 publication reviewing the hazards of BPA, it advised the public not to put boiling water or very hot liquid into any plastic baby bottles.

It also stated its support of industry action to stop producing and selling BPA-containing baby bottles and infant feeding cups.

This is a move that is already being taken in the United States, Canada and the European Union.

All this indicates a stark acknowledgement by consumers, manufacturers and the authorities that even with the limited knowledge and conflicting research findings on BPA, the threat to health arising from it is indeed real and is not to be dismissed.

Ooi Mun Kong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2017, with the headline 'BPA hazard is very real'. Print Edition | Subscribe