Canadian Plastics

FDA bans BPA from baby bottles

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ruled that baby bottles and sippy cups can no longer contain bisphenol-A, or BPA, the plastic chemical that has been subject to years of scientific scrutiny.

July 23, 2012   Canadian Plastics

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has ruled that baby bottles and sippy cups can no longer contain bisphenol-A, or BPA, the plastic chemical that has been subject to years of scientific scrutiny.

The decision is the result of an October 2011 request from the American Chemistry Council (ACC) to phase out rules allowing BPA in those products, after determining that all manufacturers of bottles and sippy cups had already stopped using the chemical. The ACC’s request was an effort to curb years of negative publicity from consumer groups and head off tougher laws that would ban BPA from other types of packaging because of health worries.

Legislation introduced by some members of the U.S. Congress would ban BPA nationwide in all canned food, water bottles and food containers. Chemical makers maintain that the plastic-hardening chemical is safe for all food and drink uses.

“Although governments around the world continue to support the safety of BPA in food contact materials, confusion about whether BPA is used in baby bottles and sippy cups had become an unnecessary distraction to consumers, legislators and state regulators,” said Steven Hentges, director of ACC’s Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group, in a news release. “FDA action on this request now provides certainty that BPA is not used to make the baby bottles and sippy cups on store shelves, either today or in the future.”

BPA is found in hundreds of plastic items, from water bottles to CDs to dental sealants. Some researchers suggest that ingesting the chemical can interfere with development of the reproductive and nervous systems in babies and young children. They point to dozens of studies showing such an effect from BPA in rodents and other animals. But the FDA isn’t convinced that those findings apply to humans. The federal government is currently spending US$30 million on its own studies assessing the chemical’s health effects on humans.


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