Chemical Giants Bow to BPA Ban in Kids' Foodware

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yielding to pressure from parents, health advocates, and lawmakers, the chemical industry has conceded that the toxic plastics chemical bisphenol-A should not be used to make baby bottles and sippy cups.

The American Chemistry Council announced today that it has asked the federal Food and Drug Administration to revise its regulations to “clarify for consumers that BPA is no longer used to manufacture baby bottles and sippy cups and will not be used in these products in the future.”

The industry’s surprise move follows California’s enactment Tuesday of legislation backed by Environmental Working Group to bar BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups.

“The chemical industry spent millions this year fighting efforts in California and other states to ban BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups, and now it supports protecting babies and toddlers from this toxic chemical," said Ken Cook, president and co-founder of Environmental Working Group. “This is a stunning reversal.”

“If BPA doesn’t pose a risk to human health, then why ask for these restrictions?” Cook said. “The answer is that this chemical, a synthetic estrogen, disrupts the hormone system and has been linked to a long list of serious medical conditions. The FDA should now push to remove BPA from baby formula and canned food, which expose children to even greater concentrations of the toxic chemical.”

Bisphenol-A, a petrochemical derivative used to harden plastics, is a key ingredient in epoxy coatings used to line virtually all aluminum food cans worldwide. A few organic food canners in the U.S. are using non-BPA linings. The chemical is also an integral ingredient in polycarbonate plastics, the hard clear materials used until recently for many baby bottles, sippy cups, water bottles and other sturdy plastic foodware.

“The American Chemistry Council has decided to stop defending the safety of BPA in plastic food containers for kids,” Cook said. “After hanging tough for years, it has made a 180-degree turn that has left its credibility in tatters. The industry should drop any further objections to phasing out BPA in baby formula containers and other canned food.”

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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.

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