The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that it lacks jurisdiction over a petition asking the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in food packaging, food containers and other materials likely to come into contact with food. In re NRDC, No. 10-1142 (D.C. Cir. 6/17/11). The citizen petition, which was filed with FDA on October 21, 2008, asked the agency to issue a regulation prohibiting the use of BPA in food-related packaging because research has shown that the chemicals may enter the food supply through that use and cause adverse health effects in those who consume it.
FDA argued that the appeals court lacked jurisdiction because, under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, exclusive jurisdiction over citizen petitions lies in the district court. The appeals court agreed and dismissed the petition. BPA, which can apparently mimic hormones, is commonly found in canned goods and in products made from polycarbonate plastics, including baby bottles, sippy cups and reusable water bottles. Both FDA and EPA are working to address BPA and its effects on human health.