In response to a lawsuit by the National Resources Defense Council, the FDA has now stated that the agency will make a decision on the safety of  bisphenol A in food packaging by March 31, 2012.

The NRDC filed a petition with the FDA in 2008 requesting a ban on BPA in any packaging or container that comes into contact with food.  When the petition went unanswered, the organization filed a subsequent lawsuit in 2010 requesting a response.   The settlement this week requires a response from the agency by the end of March.

Dr. Sarah Janssen, senior scientist at the NRDC, said in the group’s press release:

“Every day, millions of American consumers are exposed to this dangerous chemical, commonly used in packaging for canned foods, beverages and even baby formula. The FDA has an obligation to protect us from toxic food additives. As thousands of studies have already shown, BPA is a dangerous chemical that has no place in the food chain. Its use in food and beverage containers needs to be banned.”

To date, eleven states have passed laws banning BPA from products such as baby bottles, sippy cups, and sports water bottles. Consumers Union supports NRDC’s efforts and a national ban on BPA in all food and beverage packaging.