Washington, D.C. – Less than a year after the state of California banned baby bottles and sippy cups made with the toxic plastics chemical bisphenol-A, BPA, the federal government has followed suit.
The federal Food and Drug Administration today announced that baby bottles and sippy cups can no longer contain BPA, a synthetic estrogen that can disrupt the hormone system. The FDA’s action, while a positive step, will have little impact on children’s health. A consumer revolt and state-level legislation have already driven BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups. However, the epoxy coating that lines infant formula cans and most other aluminum food cans sold in the U.S. does contain BPA. The chemical leaches readily into liquids it touches. In 2007, the Environmental Working Group found that four of the world’s leading formula makers were using BPA as an ingredient in their formula cans.
“Once again, the FDA has come so late to the party that the public and the marketplace have already left,” said Jason Rano, Director of Government Affairs for Environmental Working Group. “If the agency truly wants to prevent people from being exposed to this toxic chemical associated with a variety of serious and chronic conditions it should ban its use in cans of infant formula, food and beverages.”
After the California statute was passed last October, the chemical industry immediately dropped its years’ long objection to banning BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups and urged FDA to remove it. Public health and environmental groups called the industry’s acquiescence a cynical attempt to quell calls for a wholesale ban of the substance from food cans, beverage containers and infant formula.
Earlier this year, Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) petitioned the FDA to remove BPA from packaging for baby food and food and beverage packaging and also reusable food and beverage containers.
“It’s our hope the FDA will do exactly what Rep. Markey has asked of the agency on behalf of the American people and ban BPA in infant formula,” added Rano. “No chemical with strong ties to cancer, diabetes, obesity and many other health problems should be an ingredient in infant formula containers.”