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BPA Restriction a Step Closer with House Vote on Food Safety Bill

For Immediate Release: 
Friday, July 31, 2009

WASHINGTON, -- Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Food Safety and Enhancement Act of 2009 (H.R.2749) which included a provision by Representative Edward Markey (D-MA) that would require the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to make a determination on BPA safety by the end of this year. The agency must ensure that BPA exposures via food and beverage containers are safe with “a reasonable certainty of no harm for infants, young children and pregnant women.”

If FDA can’t make that determination by December 31, 2009, FDA must propose restrictions on BPA to protect infants, young children and pregnant women.

“This is a solid first step, but Congress needs to keep a close eye on the FDA,” said Environmental Working Group (EWG) legislative analyst Jason Rano. “The agency could easily backslide to its industry biases if its scientific review isn’t honest and transparent.”

Last fall FDA’s Science Advisory Board rejected the agency’s assertions that BPA exposures for infants were safe, instead finding the margin of safety to be “inadequate.” EWG concurs with this assessment and calls for immediate action to protect vulnerable groups: “A federal policy protecting young children and pregnant women from the risks of BPA exposure is essential,” added Rano. “ A couple of states have already acted with others considering similar bans, but it would make more sense to set comprehensive restrictions on the use of BPA at the federal level.”

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EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment. http://www.ewg.org

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