Thursday, July 11, 2013
Consumers Union Applauds FDA Move to Ban BPA in Infant Formula Packaging
WASHINGTON, DC – The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is amending its rules to prevent the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in infant formula packaging. The ban, which goes in to effect tomorrow, July 12, follows a petition submitted by Congressman and Senator-elect Edward Markey (D-Mass), which asserted that industry had effectively stopped, or “abandoned” the use of BPA in infant formula packaging.
Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, applauded the FDA’s move to finalize the restriction for infant formula, but urged lawmakers and regulators to protect all consumers from BPA exposure through efforts to ban BPA in all food and beverage containers.
Ami Gadhia, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, said, “The FDA’s action gives parents the peace of mind that the formula they feed their children is not packaged with BPA – now or in the future. We applaud this important step in limiting consumers’ exposure to BPA, but the chemical still persists in most of our everyday products. Because of the potential health risks posed by BPA exposure, Consumers Union believes that the chemical should be banned across all food and beverage containers.”
Most consumers are currently exposed to BPA daily through common products like the linings of aluminum cans, water bottles, food storage containers, eating utensils, food cans, and other plastic containers. Exposure has been linked to health problems in animals and some human studies, including reproductive abnormalities and heightened risks of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, and heart disease.
Consumers Union has endorsed the Ban Poisonous Additives Act of 2013 (BPA Act) introduced by Markey that would disallow the use of the BPA in empty and packed food containers and require periodic reexaminations of the safety of products currently deemed safe by the FDA.
In the past 5 years, 34 states have introduced and 11 states have passed measures to regulate BPA in food and beverage containers and packaging. Last year, the FDA banned its use in baby bottles in response to a consumer driven manufacturer phase out of the chemical.