Thursday, July 16, 2009
Statement by Elisa Odabashian, Director, West Coast Office and State Campaigns, and Dr. Urvashi Rangan, Director of Technical Policy, Consumers Union
Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, is deeply dismayed that, in the face of mounting scientific evidence showing the disturbing health effects of bisphenol A (BPA), the chemical is not being listed as a developmental or reproductive toxin in the state of California under Proposition 65. Prop 65 is a voter-approved measure used by regulators to identify substances that can cause cancer or reproductive harm. A state board of seven physicians voted unanimously on July 15 to not list BPA, saying there was not enough scientific evidence of the chemical’s potential dangers.
Consumers Union notes that legislation to ban BPA is currently under consideration in the California state legislature and the U.S. Congress. The state Senate voted last month to ban the manufacturing, sale or distribution of children’s food and drink containers that contain the chemical BPA.
Several jurisdictions have banned BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups, including Suffolk County, New York; the city of Chicago; and the state of Minnesota. Connecticut also recently banned BPA in reusable food and beverage containers, as well as infant formula and baby food cans and jars. In 2008, the Canadian government banned its use in baby bottles.
The FDA is currently pursuing additional research on the issue and conducting another review under the new leadership. Previously, in August 2008, the FDA reiterated its stance that BPA was safe for humans and has since come under intense criticism from the scientific community including its own Science Advisory Board. At the February 2009 Science Board Hearing, FDA tacitly acknowledged the serious health concerns regarding BPA, but the agency has not yet revised the prior position that no public health safeguards should be implemented at this time.
Almost a decade ago, Consumers Union was one of the first to test BPA in baby bottles, and to warn consumers about its potential dangers. Today, an array of groups, including consumer, health, environmental, medical and scientific, have urged FDA to remove BPA from food and beverage containers, and at the very least, to protect the most vulnerable consumers-young children and pregnant women.
For more information on BPA, please visit Consumer Reports’ website and www.greenerchoices.org/bpa.
Dr. Urvashi Rangan, 646-594-0212
Naomi Starkman, Consumers Union 917-539-3924
David Butler, 202-462-6262
Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is an independent, nonprofit testing and information organization serving the consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about products and services, personal finance, health, nutrition, and other consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products, inform the public, and protect consumers.