France bans contested chemical BPA in food packaging

The French parliament voted Thursday to ban the use of bisphenol A, a chemical thought to have a toxic effect on the brain and nervous system, in baby food packaging next year and all food containers in 2015.

The chemical, commonly known as BPA, is used in "polycarbonate" types of hard plastic bottles and as a protective lining in food and .

It became a concern following evidence in lab animals of a toxic effect on the brain and nervous system.

Some studies have found a link between exposure to BPA and and reproductive disorders.

A law adopted in the upper house Senate imposed a "ban on the manufacture, import, export and commercialisation of all forms of food packaging containing bisphenol A".

Several countries have introduced voluntary measures or laws to stop the manufacture of baby bottles with BPA and published guidelines on safer use of the containers.

In June 2010, the French parliament banned BPA-containing baby bottles.

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