Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New Bill Hopes to Protect Infants From BPA

--trends + business + politics--

Last week some legislation was introduced in Washington that adds another chapter (this one hopefully positive) to the 120 year old saga of BPA. The proposed bill came by way of Representative Edward Markey (D-MA) and is to be named the "Ban Poisonous Additives Act." The objective of the bill is to remove the toxic chemicals from food containers, which are the most significant documented source of BPA exposure for infants and children. In some cases canned infant formula could expose infants to as much as 10 times more BPA than they would receive from plastics bottles. Other canned foods marketed to children like chicken soup or ravioli also contain worrisome levels of BPA.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found that every single major formula maker in the U.S uses BPA in their containers. Last year the EWG conducted research that found that the use of BPA to line the metal portions of infant formula containers was present in both liquid and powdered varieties. The research initiative involved the group contacting NestlĂ©, Ross-Abbot (Similac), Mead-Johnson (Enfamil), Hain-Celestial (Earth’s Best), and PBM (sold under various names at Walmart, Kroger, Target and other stores). Each company’s policy was documented a minimum of three times; twice through detailed phone interviews, and once by an e-mail questionnaire. The results implicated every organization.

“By targeting food containers Congressman Markey’s bill would protect infants, children, and pregnant women from the most important documented source of BPA, canned foods. Parents have rightly been concerned with BPA in baby bottles, but formula containers, in particular canned infant formula concentrate, are a more worrisome source of BPA for babies,” said Environmental Working Group Executive Director Richard Wiles. “Congressman Markey is placing the most vulnerable population first in his efforts to reduce people’s exposure to this toxic chemical, and we applaud him for his efforts.”

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