womidea.com – The call for BPA labeling on polycarbonate plastic bottled water products (AMDK) containing the compound Bisphenol A (BPA) has been brought back by a number of experts. BPA compounds in food packaging are considered not only a problem at the national level, but have become a global problem.
This issue also requires a number of parties to be aware and participate in overcoming it. One of them is business actors, who must be responsible for providing a sense of security and also comply with legal aspects that guarantee the interests of society as consumers.
This firm message was conveyed in a forum of experts and practitioners themed “Expert Forum: The Urgency of BPA Labeling on Bottled Drinking Water Products for Consumer Safety” held at Makara Building, University of Indonesia, Wednesday (23/11).
“We don’t want to wait for there to be too many cases or those who are already very critical and then act. If there are problems, they must be dealt with immediately. BPOM is here to protect public safety,” said Rita Endang, Deputy for Processed Food Supervision at the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM).
He also touched on the potential health hazards that BPA can cause, such as sexual disorders, changes in behavior in men or women, prostate cancer and other types of cancer.
Consumer Rights Are Protected If There Is a BPA Label on the bottled water
The plan to implement Bisphenol A (BPA) content labels on bottled water product packaging by the Food and Drug Supervisory Agency (BPOM) is supported by experts who have conducted various comprehensive studies and include health, legal, business economics and environmental approaches.
From an economic approach, Senior Consultant at the Management Institute of the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Indonesia, Dr. Tengku Ezni Balqiah said that the label on a gallon of drinking water will provide comprehensive information to consumers.
“Consumers will see the risks and benefits of choosing labeled drinking water products,” said Tengku Ezni. “Labels are consumer rights that help protect them.”
According to him, based on research results published in 2022, labels that warn about the dangers of plastic will reduce information asymmetry, which will actually increase market efficiency which can trigger industrial growth, because consumers feel that their rights are being fulfilled due to information transparency.
The reason is, with BPA labeling, public literacy about potential health hazards is also getting higher, making it more efficient in choosing products to be consumed. “Therefore, it is clear that this labeling will not kill the bottled water industry,” he explained.
BPA labels on food packaging will improve the climate for the AMDK industry
From the industry side, the Association of National Bottled Water Producers (ASPRAMINAS) believes that BPOM’s labeling plan for BPA content that is above the threshold will actually improve the climate for the AMDK industry.
“We as AMDK entrepreneurs believe that this labeling will not interfere with industrial growth, therefore we fully support the BPA labeling issued by BPOM as the highest food safety authority,” said Johan Muliawan, chairman of ASPARMINAS.
According to Johan, demand for bottled drinking water will continue to increase in line with economic growth and population growth in Indonesia.
“As industry players, we are committed to continuing to make efforts to improve the quality of bottled drinking water products. We take this BPA labeling business as a trigger to innovate and create quality bottled water products from a health and packaging safety standpoint,” said Johan.
Johan added that currently, apart from gallons made from polycarbonate (PC), many large bottled water companies have started to switch to producing gallons of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) which are redesigned for reuse. PET gallons have the same function, but with relatively cheaper and healthier raw material prices.
GAPMMI Invites Industry to Create Safer Packaging Alternatives
On another occasion, Chairman of the Indonesian Food and Beverage Producers Association (GAPMMI), Adhi S. Lukman believes that the decisions taken by the government are certainly based on in-depth studies as an effort to protect consumers. This study also looks at references in developed countries that have banned the use of BPA.
Adhi explained that the warning label about BPA content was an attempt to provide certainty for consumers in consuming products that are guaranteed for their safety and health. Therefore, GAPMMI invites the industry to collaborate with each other to create safer packaging alternatives.
In addition, Adhi also believes that PET-based gallons, which have been widely used by the large bottled water industry, are an alternative that not only has a higher health value, but is also more economical. “If gallons made from PET are reused, it will be able to save production costs significantly which will ultimately spur the growth of the bottled drinking water industry, including small and medium industries,” he explained.
GAPMMI is ready to support every step of the way for business actors to move forward in line with technological developments. Adhi also hopes that in this way all business actors comply with existing regulations, and think positively to support the growth and development of the industry.