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MPs vote to ban use of Bisphenol A

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10:48 CEST+02:00

Parliamentarians voted on Wednesday to ban the use of bisphenol A in all food packaging from 2014, with an earlier ban on its use in packaging aimed at children from 2013.

The chemical compound is used in plastic packaging, particularly for food. Studies have estimated that 90 percent of people have it at low levels in their bodies.

The ban was proposed by the Socialist party and supported by the government. The vote in the parliament, the Assemblée Nationale, was unanimous.

Bisphenol A is known as an endocrine disruptor, which campaigners claim can produce negative health effects, particularly to the foetus. Some studies have also suggested that people with higher levels of the chemical are more prone to heart disease and diabetes.

The environmental health campaign group Réseau Environnement Santé (Environment Health Network) said it was "delighted" by the news.

"This measure will significantly reduce daily exposure to this endocrine disruptor" said the group in a statement on Wednesday. The organization called for more action at the European level.

"Attention must now shift to the European stage where the community institutions have not distinguished themselves by their willingness" to deal with the issue, said the group in a statement on Wednesday.

Canada was the first country to declare Bisphenol A a toxic substance in 2010 and, along with the European Union, banned its use in baby bottles that year. 

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