More states move to ban BPA even while FDA does nothing

Friday, May 07, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff

An increasing number of states are considering banning bisphenol-A (BPA) from food and drink containers in response to growing concerns that the chemical causes cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other serious illnesses. Despite disregard by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about its potential dangers, states like Connecticut and Massachusetts have passed legislation outlawing the chemical from being used in food and drink containers.

For years, the FDA has denied that BPA is dangerous, even when numerous studies have indicated that the chemical leeches into food and disrupts hormones. After being pressed to reevaluate its position by the National Toxicology Program and others who disagreed with the FDA’s position, the agency reluctantly agreed to take a look at the evidence once more.

Last month, the FDA announced that it now has “some concerns” about BPA’s effect on brain development in children and babies, but would not admit that the chemical is dangerous or unsafe. The agency has stated it will not issue a ban on BPA, even though it agrees that the chemical is likely problematic.

Spokesmen from the American Chemistry Council (ACC) agreed with the FDA’s decision, insisting that a ban on BPA is unnecessary. According to ACC, research indicates that BPA is perfectly safe.

Industry rhetoric is not enough to convince the public, however, which is increasingly opposed to the chemical’s use in food containers. Many manufacturers have responded to the outcry over BPA by voluntarily eliminating it from their containers and noting on labels that the products are “BPA free”.

In addition to Connecticut and Massachusetts, the city of Chicago and Suffolk County, New York have also banned BPA from food containers as has the entire nation of Canada. New Mexico, Maryland, Missouri, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington, D.C., also have pending legislation to ban the chemical as well.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), plastic containers whose bottoms bear a 3 or 7 in the triangle recycling logo likely contain BPA. Those with a 1, 2, 4, 5, or 6 most likely do not. HHS also recommends not using plastic containers that are scratched since they are more likely to leech toxic chemicals.

It is always good practice not to put really hot liquids into plastic containers, since doing so can encourage leeching of chemicals like BPA. Freezing plastic bottles is also a bad idea because it can encourage leeching as well.

Sources for this story include:

http://content.usatoday.com/communi…

http://www.naturalnews.com/028738_BPA_plastics.html

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