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Food & Health : Laws & Politics Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM


3 states ask 11 baby product makers not to use bisphenol A
By Sue Mueller
Oct 14, 2008 - 10:33:43 AM

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Tuesday October 14, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal along with the Attorneys general from New Jersey and Delaware on Monday sent a letter to 11 baby bottle and formula container manufacturers asking them to voluntarily stop using bisphenol A or BPA in their products because this chemical is potentially harmful to infants.

 

The Food and Drug Administration has shown its reluctance to ban BPA and Blumenthal criticized the FDA for declining to act after evidence has emerged to suggest there is some concern about the safety of BPA containing containers.  

 

The FDA seems to be listening to the industry who conducted two controversial studies disproving the link between BPA and disease and refuses to heed warnings from nonindustry scientists, according to Newsinferno.com.

 

"Right now, our tentative conclusion is that it’s safe, so we’re not recommending any change in habits," Laura Tarantino, head of the FDA’s office of food additive safety was quoted by newsinferno.com as saying.

 

BPA is used in plastics as a hardening agent.   The nice and transparent polycarbonate plastics are commonly used in food and beverage containers.  But the concern is growing as more studies has come to an agreement that exposure to even a very low level of BPA could harm fetuses and infants.

 

The risk has been officially recognized by the National Toxicology Program, an agency under the Department of Health. The NTP says "The NTP has some concern for effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and children at current human exposures to bisphenol A."

 

"Unfortunately the federal agency, the Federal Food and Drug Administration, has been asleep at the switch, in fact resistant to respecting the scientific evidence that grave harm can result in use of this product," Blumenthal was quoted as saying.

 

Early studies suggest that bisphenol A or BPA may damage the brain, reproductive system and immune system.    A new observation study now suggests that the chemical may raise risk of heart disease, diabetes and liver malfunctions, two major diseases that plague developed countries.

 

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Researchers from the UK and the University of Iowa analyzed data on the BPA level in the urine samples from 1,455 men and women and found the disturbing associations.

 

The researchers found those in the quartile with the highest levels of BPA were three times as likely to have cardiovascular disease and 2.4 times as likely to have diabetes as those in the quartile with the lowest level. Those with highest levels were also found at higher risk of abnormal levels of three liver enzymes.

 

In the letters, Blumenthal was quoted as saying "The preventable release of a toxic chemical directly into the food we eat is unconscionable and intolerable."  

 

The recipients of the letters include baby bottle manufacturers Avent America Inc., Disney First Years, Gerber, Handicraft Co., Playtex Products Inc., and Evenflo Co., and formula makers Abbott, Mead Johnson, PBM Products, Nature’s One, and Wyeth.





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