BPA ban in baby bottles and sippy cups official
July 17th, 2012
05:32 PM ET

BPA ban in baby bottles and sippy cups official

The chemical bisphenol-A, or BPA has been officially banned from use in certain baby products, the US Food and Drug Administration announced today.

"FDA is amending the food additive regulations to no longer allow BPA in the plastic used to make baby bottles and sippy cups," said Curtis Allen, an FDA spokesman. "As a result, consumers can be confident that these products do not contain BPA. "

The move came as a result of a petition filed by the American Chemistry Council – an organization that represents “companies engaged in the business of chemistry” –- including plastic companies - saying the government should ban its use in these specific products.

“Although governments around the world continue to support the safety of BPA in food contact materials, confusion about whether BPA is used in baby bottles and sippy cups had become an unnecessary distraction to consumers, legislators and state regulators,” wrote Steven G. Hentges, a spokesman for the ACC in a statement.

Despite the move being seen as largely symbolic – most manufacturers had already abandoned the use of BPA in baby products – many advocacy groups see it as a step in the right direction. But others say the move doesn't go far enough, and call for the chemical to be banned in all food-related manufacturing.

“This is only a baby step in the fight to eradicate BPA," Dr. Sarah Janssen, a senior scientist at the environmental advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council, told CNN. "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 questions of BPA’s safety.”

The FDA has said in the past that there was "reason for some concern" about BPA's safety, and beefed up measures to reduce human exposure to the chemical.

In 2008, the Natural Resources Defense Council filed a petition asking the FDA to ban BPA outright. After 41 months of inaction, the FDA finally denied the petition, ruled that BPA was still considered to be safe, and refused to prohibit its use.

Allen reiterated that the FDA continues to stand behind BPA's safety.

"It's important to note that we're not making a statement on the safety of BPA, only on the petition from ACC," he said. "The agency continues to support the safety of BPA for use in products that hold food."

Previous studies – done mainly on mice – have linked BPA to potential side effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children, according to the Food and Drug Administration. But officials with the Environmental Protection Agency say there remains uncertainty in the extrapolation of dose levels from animals to humans.

BPA is a chemical used in many consumer products, including clear and hard plastics called polycarbonate used in water and soda bottles, as well as in the resin linings of food and beverage cans and containers of infant formula.

soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Lee

    BPA has also been found in childrens' dental fillings. Are there any plans to ban BPA in the material used for dental fillings in the US or around the world?

    July 18, 2012 at 08:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Mary Brokaw

    It's about time ... and correct, in fillings too ... and still in cans even for baby foods. Should be removed from our vocabulary and not used in any products. What's wrong with people who know something better but don't do it? Greedy. We need to curb our greed and start reallly watching out for the harm we have been doing to ourselves unwittingly for a long time ... there's your increase in cancer, heart disease, etc.

    July 18, 2012 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. JW

    Okay. Good Move. Now lets get the GMO removed from our menus.

    July 18, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Low Carb Convert

    How about we remove the stuff inside the bottles we feed our children? Ever look at the ingredients? We're carb-loading our children. And sippy cups filled with gram upon gram of sugar in apple and other juices? BPA is a concern, but we've lost focus.


    July 20, 2012 at 00:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Emily

    The FDA is a political laugh, sadly. It will ultimately be the anger of the consumers which will prompt manufacturers to change their products and not a mandate from the FDA.

    HOWEVER, the scary thing is that BPA is just ONE xenoestrogen in our products but studies have found examples of many more xenosteroids other than BPA. What is called for isn't the removal of a single compound from our foods but stringent research on food products before they're able to go to market. The pharmaceutical industry is required to do it. Food products should fall under similar laws. Especially in the case of packaging for products.

    Glass is generally safe for heating and eating out of. Manufacturers should start moving back to glass packaging.

    I would imagine, aside from lobbyists lining the pocketbooks of those who run the FDA, that the agency is hesitant to make such mandates because it would cost many companies a good deal of money to change their products. –Not that that's a good reason no changes should be made. If that was indeed a motivating concern of the FDA, I would have hoped instead they would come out with a plan of "in such-and-such number of years all companies will be required to have removed BPA from their product lines" would have been more pragmatic.

    August 1, 2012 at 13:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Dennis

    Hundreds of independent peer rwveieed studies have linked BPA to a wide range of health problems from reproductive disorders to breast and prostate cancer, and children, whose bodies are still developing, are particularly vulnerable. Maine joins 8 other states that have banned BPA in children's products, in addition to a host of other countries such as Canada and the members of the EU due to concerns over these health effects. We share your concern for the safety of alternatives and hope that the industry and scientific communities can work together to provide the consumer with the safest products available.

    October 11, 2012 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
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