FDA May Ban BPA from Baby Bottles

We’ve long written about the myriad adverse reactions linked to the ubiquitous, estrogenic, polycarbonate plastics hardener bisphenol A (BPA). Industry has long maintained the chemical’s safety and government agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services, have never issued final decisions on BPA’s effects.

We just wrote that while the American Chemistry Council has long said that BPA is safe, in a surprising turnabout, is asking the FDA to update its regulations and ban BPA From baby bottles and sippy cups.

The Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) reported that the FDA announced it will propose such a ban in the “very near future,” noting that the ban will ensure BPA is not used in baby bottles and sippy cups sold in stores. According to an FDA spokesman, the ban will confirm that BPA is no longer used in the manufacture of these products, said BNA.

Many U.S. manufacturers ceased using BPA in infant baby bottles and sippy cups about two-to-three years ago, Steven G. Hentges, of the American Chemistry Council’s Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group, told reporters at an October 7 briefing on the Chemistry Council’s petition. “FDA action on this request will provide certainty that BPA is not used to make the baby bottles and sippy cups on store shelves, either today or in the future,” Hentges added.

The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) president, Ken Cook, described the Council’s petition as a “stunning reversal,” wrote BNA. “The chemical industry spent millions this year fighting efforts in California and other states to ban BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups,” Cook noted. “The industry should drop any further objections to phasing out BPA in baby formula containers and other canned food,” EWG said in a prepared statement, wrote BNA. Hentges said the Council intends to support BPA use in many other products, such as food containers, according to BNA.

Many wonder why it took the FDA so long. For instance, the National Resource Defense Council’s (NRDC) Switchboard pointed out that the NRDC filed a similar request with the FDA three years ago requesting revocation of approval to use BPA in all food contact applications, including baby bottles and sippy cups. The FDA never responded to the NRDC’s request and the NRDC was forced to sue the FDA for a response. The NRDC has concluded that the FDA simply chose to ignore public health interests and chose to side industry, regardless of the issue.

We recently wrote that a study linked BPA to increased breast cancer risks. As we’ve long mentioned, BPA, with its hormone-mimicking properties, interrupts sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children and has been linked to toxic injury and implications in 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 treatment, premature puberty, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and other female fertility and endocrine issues, and erectile dysfunction and male sexual problems in males as young as the developing fetus.

BPA, which is known to leach into products, whether heated or cold, and into the skin, is a component in a growing number of consumer products including food and beverage can linings, CDs and DVDs, dental sealants, nautical resins, thermal receipt paper, and even in canned foods marketed to children. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently said that about 1 million pounds of BPA are released into the environment annually.

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