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European Union Stands Up for Infants

Friday, November 26, 2010
By Leeann Brown, EWG Press Associate

Just a week after a few members of Congress buckled to chemical industry interests and blocked language that would have banned BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups, the European Union is showing the courage to do the right thing for babies' health. Officials announced Friday (Nov. 26) that as of June of next year, baby bottles with -- you guessed it, BPA -- can no longer be sold in the 27 EU countries.

Yes, that's right, our Congress -- well no, not our entire congress, but a few key Republicans (including Richard Burr of North Carolina), decided to favor the interests of the American Chemistry Council's companies rather than the wellbeing of American infants. Those companies churn out billions of pounds of BPA a year, and they're determined to protect the bottom line - whatever the cost. 

What led the Europeans to finalize this action plan for BPA? They cited data from recent studies that reaffirm BPA's potential to disrupt the immune system, stimulate tumor growth and interfere with proper development of young children. That same data is available on this side of the ocean, but that apparently doesn't matter to the Chemistry Council, or its friends in the US Senate, who blocked a deal to add the limited BPA ban to pending food safety legislation.

Environmental Working Group knows that reducing children's exposure to this plastics chemical is crucial to protecting the health of our young. EWG's Body Burden studies have found BPA in the umbilical cord blood of newborns -- proof that babies are being born pre-polluted with this toxic chemical. Do they really need any additional doses once they're born? We don't think so.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has been tirelessly fighting to limit BPA exposure nationwide, but she couldn't overcome the chemical companies' resistance this time. But the fight is far from over.

"This action in the European Union just reinvigorates EWG's commitment to eliminate human exposure to BPA," said EWG President Ken Cook.  

Stay tuned.