On Tuesday, July 17, 2012 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said that the controversial compound bisphenol A (BPA), will no longer be used to make baby bottles and sippy cups. Suzanne Struglinski, Press Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), sent us the notice in the Federal Register.
But the FDA decided to ban the chemical because the substance just isn’t used anymore by manufacturers, not because they have decided it is unsafe. Consumer demand from parents forced corporations to stop using BPA in those products. While consumer advocates applaud this step, they want the FDA to ban BPA in all food packaging.
Sarah Janssen, senior scientists for the NRDC’s public health program, said, “this is only a baby step in the fight to eradicate BPA. to truly protect the public, FDA needs to ban BPA from all food packaging. This half-hearted action – taken only after consumers shifted away from BPA in children’s products – in inadequate. FDA continues to dodge the bigger questions of BPA’s safety.” She added, “it’s time for FDA to stop skirting the question and waiting for the market to change before they make a move.”
Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) petitioned the FDA to propose that food additive regulations be amended so BPA epoxy resins in infant formula packaging are banned. The FDA is requesting comments on this petition; you can submit your comments at the Federal Register.
The government has stated that BPA used in food packaging does not present a threat to human health. The FDA denied a 2008 petition to prohibit BPA in all food containers, and in April 2012 denied a petition filed by the NRDC in 2010 that asked the agency to ban the chemical. Studies conducted at Yale and the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry have found that BPA can impair brain function and is associated with the risk of heart disease. We told you about several of these studies in February.
Governments around the world have banned BPA in food containers, including Canada, the EU, China, and South Africa. There is a ban on the chemical in some food packaging in eleven U.S. states.