FDA Bans BPA in Baby Bottles, after Chemical Industry Follows California’s Lead

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), following about nine months behind California, has banned the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles, but will continue to allow its use in plastic bottles used by adults.

The FDA’s decision was less dramatic than it may appear, since manufacturers of baby bottles and sippy cups had already stopped using the controversial industrial chemical. The chemical industry actually asked the FDA to phase out that use of BPA after California became the 12th state to sign such a ban last October.

Three days after Governor Jerry Brown ended a six-year battle and signed the legislation, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) announced that it was voluntarily abandoning the chemical. The council had spent $9.4 million lobbying for the chemical since 2005 and contributed more than $50,000 to state political coffers.

Government regulators said in 2008 that BPA was safe, but started having doubts two years later. Still, the FDA insisted its decision was not safety-related—merely that it was honoring a request from the ACC, which wanted to boost consumer confidence.

Meanwhile, beverages consumed by adults will still be packaged in bottles made with BPA, which can leach into food, according to studies.

“The F.D.A. is slowly making progress on this issue, but they are doing the bare minimum here,” Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women and Families, told The New York Times. “They are instituting a ban that is already in effect voluntarily.”

–Noel Brinkerhoff and Ken Broder


To Learn More:

F.D.A. Makes It Official: BPA Can’t Be Used in Baby Bottles and Cups (by Sabrina Tavernise, New York Times)

FDA: BPA No Longer Allowed in Baby Bottles (by Matthew Perrone, Associated Press)

FDA Refuses to Ban BPA from Food Containers (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)

Can of Del Monte Green Beans Sets Toxic BPA Record (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

White House Delayed Regulation of Controversial Chemical after Meeting with Lobbyists (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

California BPA Ban Signed into Law (Food Safety News)

Chemical Industry Shifts on BPA After Spending Millions to Fight Legislation (by Jeremy P. Jacobs, Greenwire) 

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