China Bans BPA as U.S. Ignores Risk

While the United States continues to lag on implementing a nationwide ban on the toxic chemical <"">bisphenol A—BPA—China and Malaysia have banned the ubiquitous polycarbonate plastic compound.

Green Chip Stocks wrote that, at a press conference, the Chinese ministry said that BPA could “disturb human metabolism, affect babies’ immune systems, and even induce cancer,” noting that the chemical is a particular risk to babies. Both countries, noted Green Chip Stocks, join the European Union and Canada in banning BPA from use in baby bottles and Canada has labeled BPA a “toxic substance.”

Acting as an anti-androgen—substances that block hormone activity—BPA affects sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children. BPA has been inked to toxic injury and life threatening illnesses in hundreds of studies which have made these links to cardiovascular disease, intestinal problems, brain cell connection interference, increased risks of reproductive and immune system diseases and disorders, problems with liver function testing, interruptions in chemotherapy, premature puberty, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), female fertility issues, erectile dysfunction, and male sexual problems. Most recently, BPA, has been linked to sperm health issues in a study involving humans.

In addition to growing concern over the negative impact of BPA on health and the environment, and despite tremendous public support for increased regulation concerning toxic chemicals, Congress has continued to act on the side of industry. Of note, industry has long relied on the results of two studies that allege BPA is safe at current usage levels; however, those studies were industry conducted.

Green Chip Stocks pointed out that one meeting involved the American Chemistry Council and the Grocery Manufacturers Association—both pro industry groups—collaborating with industry giants Coca-Cola and Del Monte to consider ways in which to squash potential legislation via scare tactics, while abandoning science, that involved slogans such as “Do you want to have access to baby food anymore?”

Not able to get science experts on their side, the group opted for a spokesperson in the form of a “pregnant young mother who would be willing to speak around the country about the benefits of BPA,” Green Chip Stocks quoted. The move is believed to have been responsible for a provision limiting BPA in children’s products from last year’s food safety bill, noted Green Chip Stocks. Bill sponsor, Senator Diane Feinstein, blamed “intense lobbying pressures.”

“I don’t understand how a chemical group would oppose taking a chemical (out of products) which, at the very least, may impact the endocrine systems of infants because they want to make money on it,” Feinstein said, quoted Green Chip Stocks.

The ever-present polycarbonate plastic hardener has been implicated in a growing range of consumer products from baby bottles and sippy cups to eyeglass, CD and DVD cases, and water bottles. We recently wrote that the toxic chemical was found in ordinary thermal paper receipts, further intensifying its ubiquity and humans access to the dangerous chemical.

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