“USA Today” reports the European Union, or EU, has moved to ban the use of bisphenol-A, or BPA, in the manufacture of plastic baby bottles beginning March 2011. The move follows similar bans already enacted by Denmark and France, two member states of the EU; bans in Canada; and some U.S. states. The ban will affect not only manufacture of baby bottles in EU countries, but, beginning June 2011, will also ban the import and sale of baby bottles containing bisphenol-A.
FDA’s Actions Regarding Bisphenol-A
In a statement issued January 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration stops short of banning BPA in the manufacture of plastic food storage containers. The update indicates the FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research will work closely with the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Toxicology Program to gather further data on the safety/dangers of BPA in food storage containers.
Until such information is gathered and assessed, the FDA reports it is “taking reasonable steps” to reduce “human exposure to BPA in the food supply” by measures such as encouraging plastic industry manufacturers to develop alternatives to the use of BPA in food storage containers and supporting that same industry to stop producing baby bottles and infant cups with material containing BPA. Additionally, the FDA seeks public comment and input from the scientific community.
Federal Legislation to Ban BPA In Baby Bottle Manufacture Dies on Table
In a food safety bill being considered by the U.S. Senate in November 2010, an amendment sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California which had been added to the bill regarding a ban of the use of BPA in baby bottles and children’s drinking cups was removed from the bill due to pressure from the American Chemistry Council’s lobbyists, reports “The New York Times” website.
Feinstein pondered aloud why the Chemistry Council would oppose the use of a chemical that is a synthetic estrogen. Six baby bottle manufacturers have already agreed to reduce and eliminate the use of bisphenol-A.
Sources: “USA Today,” European Union Bans Chemical BPA in Baby Bottles, Nov. 27, 2010
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “Update on Bisphenol A (BPA) for Use in Food,” January 2010
“The New York Times,” Industry Opposition Scuttles Bipartisan Senate Bid for BPA Curbs,” Elana Schor, Nov. 17, 2010.