Experts from around the world are meeting in Ottawa, Ontario this week to evaluate the safety of a chemical commonly found in food packaging.
The World Health Organization called together dozens of academic, government and industry researchers to determine whether people’s exposure to bisphenol A is safe.
The meeting runs from Nov. 1 to Nov. 5.
Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical that is used as a resin to line the inside of food cans and also to create hard, clear plastics, such as those used in several brands of baby bottles and reusable water bottles.
The chemical has been banned in several U.S. states and cities, declared toxic in Canada and deemed safe by the European Union.
Amidst concerns about BPA, many major canned-food manufacturers have replaced, or vowed to replace, the chemical with alternatives.
Nestle, the world's biggest food manufacturer, will stop putting BPA in US products within three years. General Mills has already removed it from its Muir Glen products while H.J. Heinz says it is close to removing the chemicals from baby food. Campbell Soup says it is actively exploring alternatives.
Some companies, however, such as Coca-Cola, aren’t budging. They say the chemical is safe.
"Companies are actually moving faster than regulators in phasing out BPA from food and beverage packaging," Emily Stone, of Green Century Capital Management, told the Independent.
The World Health Organization meeting is sponsored by the National Institutes of Environmental Health Science, the Food and Drug Administration, the European Food Safety Authority and Health Canada.
According to Health Canada, the meeting is designed to:
bring together some of the foremost experts in the world to review the most recent scientific information available on BPA and try to establish an international consensus on the safety of BPA, with a particular focus on food applications.