Baby bottles and sippy cups can no longer contain bisphenol-A, or BPA—the federal government announced Tuesday.
The U.S. chemical industry’s chief association, the American Chemistry Council, had asked the Food and Drug Administration to phase out rules allowing BPA in those products in October, after determining that all manufacturers of bottles and sippy cups had already abandoned the chemical due to safety concerns.
It is illegal for companies to use substances not covered by FDA rules.
“Consumers can be confident that these products do not contain BPA,” FDA spokesman Allen Curtis said in a statement, adding that the agency’s action was based on the bottle industry’s phase out of the chemical. “The agency continues to support the safety of BPA for use in products that hold food.”
Legislation introduced by some members of 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.
BPA is found in hundreds of plastic items from water bottles to CDs to dental sealants. Some researchers say ingesting the chemical can interfere with development of the reproductive and nervous systems in babies and young children.
In 2010, the FDA revised its opinion and said there is “some concern” about the chemical’s impact on the brain and reproductive system of infants, babies and young children. Earlier this year the agency denied a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council which would have banned the use of BPA in all food containers. The agency said it is awaiting results from federally-funded studies on the safety of BPA.
Public safety advocates said Tuesday that FDA’s action on baby bottles and sippy cups would have little impact, since the BPA-containing products are no longer in use.
“Once again, the FDA has come so late to the party that the public and the marketplace have already left,” said Jason Rano, of the Environmental Working Group, which is pushing for a BPA ban in cans of infant formula, food and beverages. Scientists pushing for a ban on the chemical argue that BPA mimics the effects of the hormone estrogen, interfering with growth and development.
Source: Huffington Post