WASHINGTON – Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced a bill yesterday that would help protect Americans from the toxic chemical bisphenol A, known as BPA, the Environmental Working Group said in a statement today.
“BPA is an endocrine disruptor that has no place in our food or food packaging,” said Sonya Lunder, EWG senior analyst. “We are grateful for Sen. Feinstein’s leadership on making sure disclosure and safety measures are in place to better protect people from this dangerous chemical.”
The insides of most food cans manufactured in the U.S. are coated with epoxy made with BPA, a synthetic estrogen that can disrupt the endocrine system and has been linked to a number of serious health problems including cancer, infertility, early puberty and diabetes. Epoxy readily breaks down and leaches BPA into any food or drink it touches.
Feinstein’s BPA in Food Packaging Right to Know Act would require cans and other food containers made with BPA to bear a clear warning label. The bill would mandate a safety review of BPA in food.
Last year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said that the ubiquitous presence of BPA in canned food and beverages is too slight to endanger human health. Manufacturers of canned goods and their lobbyists applauded the FDA’s assertion, and the American Chemistry Council launched a media campaign to promote it.
“It is unfortunate that the FDA is ignoring an enormous amount of scientific evidence that points out the dangers of BPA,” Lunder said. “Hundreds of independent scientists disagree with the agency, which persists in relying on flawed, outdated and inadequate methods for assessing the toxicity of hormone disruptors. This is why Sen. Feinstein’s right to know bill is so important to Americans who want to reduce their exposure to BPA.”
EWG is calling on Congress to act quickly to pass the BPA in Food Packaging Right to Know Act. In the meantime, people can limit their exposure to BPA by avoiding canned foods when possible or choosing canned foods labeled BPA-free. See EWG’s Guide to BPA for more information and tips.