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FDA Bans BPA in Bottles, Sippy Cups

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration announced a ban on bisphenol-A in baby bottles and sippy cups Tuesday and opened a 60-day public comment period on a petition to prohibit the chemical’s use in infant formula containers.

The ban is not linked to a decision about the safety of BPA, rather it came in response to a request by the American Chemical Council to phase out rules allowing BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups since manufacturers of these products had already stopped using the chemical due to consumer preference. “It does not make a statement at all on whether or not we think BPA is safe for food products,” FDA spokesman Allen Curtis told SN.

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Consumer Union, the policy arm of Consumer Reports, which last year co-sponsored a law enacted in California to ban BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups, is hopeful the decision will lead to banning the chemical that’s been implicated in conditions from cancer to developmental disorders in infant formula containers.

U.S. Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., filed a petition earlier this week to broaden the ban to include infant formula cans. Proponents contend manufacturers of these cans have also largely abandoned BPA.

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“Scientific studies show there are serious health risks associated with BPA, and this action by the FDA will help protect million of the most vulnerable Americans,” said Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives for Consumer Union, in a statement. ”FDA’s next step should be to ban this chemical in infant formula containers.”

Canada, the European Union, China and 11 U.S. states have banned BPA in children’s products but it remains legal in all canned food and beverage packaging, according to Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental organization. It asserted in a statement that the FDA needs to address the issue of BPA safety. “This is only a baby step in the fight to eradicate BPA. To truly protect the public, FDA needs to ban BPA from all food packaging. This half-hearted action — taken only after consumers shifted away from BPA in children’s products — is inadequate. FDA continues to dodge the bigger question of BPA’s safety.”

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