Industry About-Faces On BPA Regulations | October 17, 2011 Issue - Vol. 89 Issue 42 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 42 | p. 13 | News of The Week
Issue Date: October 17, 2011

Industry About-Faces On BPA Regulations

Regulation: ACC asks FDA to ban bisphenol A in baby bottles and sippy cups
Department: Government & Policy
News Channels: Environmental SCENE
Keywords: bisphenol A, BPA, endocrine disrupter

After years of defending the safety of bisphenol A (BPA) in food and beverage containers, the American Chemistry Council has asked FDA to ban the estrogenic chemical in baby bottles and sippy cups. ACC, a chemical industry trade group, says it made the about-face move to clarify for consumers that such products are no longer on the market.

Eleven states have recently banned BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups, contributing to confusion about whether such products are being sold in the U.S., Steven G. Hentges, executive director of the Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group of ACC, said in an Oct. 7 briefing. Manufacturers stopped using BPA in these products several years ago because of market demand, Hentges stressed.

The chemical industry maintains that BPA is safe in food and beverage containers. But environmental and public health groups say ACC’s petition is an acknowledgment that BPA can cause hormonal and developmental health effects in children. “If BPA doesn’t pose a risk to human health, then why ask for these restrictions?” Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, said in a statement.

Calling ACC’s move an “empty gesture,” Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) urged FDA to go further and ban BPA from all food and beverage containers, including cans of baby formula.

FDA says it will accept public comments on ACC’s petition for 60 days before it decides whether to grant or deny the request.

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