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Food industry chemical under a spotlight in California

The food distribution industry in California is seeking accommodation regarding a labeling matter, contending that state law mandating a specific outcome is overly arduous and unfeasible from any practical perspective.

The subject matter surrounding what seems to be a growing debate is Bisphenol A, a synthetic compound widely used in product manufacturing involving plastics. Bisphenol A is a chemical and has special utility in the lining of bottled and canned foods. Essentially, the chemical serves as a coating/sealant that isolates foods and liquids from the insides of containers.

As noted in a recent article discussing Bisphenol A and labeling requirements for products containing the chemical, a demonstrated link reportedly exists between the compound and adverse effects in the reproductive systems of women.

And that nexus is sufficiently apparent to enough state officials that they added the chemical in 2015 to a list of toxic components that require special labeling.

Specifically, applicable law mandates that the potential danger posed by Bisphenol A must be disclosed on either product labels or store shelves where products are displayed that contain the chemical.

Food industry spokespersons say that such a requirement is flatly onerous and unworkable, given the millions of cans already on shelves in California stores.

State environmental officials agree, stating that a more logical response to the concern would be the placement of warning signs at store cash registers.

At least one environmental group advocating for consumers has responded that the register-based solution would be ineffective. That organization states that the food industry has already been given considerable time to adjust and should be forced to abide by the labeling requirement.

The matter continues to unfold, with officials presently considering an industry request for an extension -- essentially a moratorium -- on a duty to act.

We will keep readers duly apprised of any material developments that emerge in the matter.

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