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BPA Free Baby Bottles Now Law, But We’re Not in the Clear

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a ban on the use of bisphenol A, or BPA, in baby bottles and children’s cups. BPA is an estrogen-mimicking chemical that has been used in hard plastics, the linings of cans, food packaging, and dental fillings, even receipts–for which the Environmental Protection Agency is now investigating alternatives–for years. We’ve reported about the dangers of BPA on Civil Eats here, here, and here. This move essentially made official a practice that many manufacturers of baby bottles and cups already follow in response to growing pressure from consumers.

Questions of safety remain when it comes to the use of any plastic products that come in contact with our foods. The FDA ban is raising concern and creating headlines about what manufacturers will substitute in place of the BPA. A 2011 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found that all plastics contain estrogenic activity (EA) and in some cases, those labeled “BPA free” leached more chemicals with EA than did BPA-containing products. The study’s authors write, “Almost all commercially available plastic products we sampled—independent of the type of resin, product, or retail source—leached chemicals having reliably detectable EA, including those advertised as BPA free.”

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BPA Exposure Worse Than Previously Estimated

According to a new study, exposure to the gender-bending chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) is worse than previously estimated. The study, which appeared Monday in Environmental Health Perspectives, is the first to recreate the chronic daily intake of BPA in humans, which leaches into our food–our primary channel for exposure–via its packaging. Researchers showed this by feeding a steady BPA-spiked diet to mice, whereas previous studies have only used a single exposure. Read more

FDA: Variable Amounts of BPA on Your Plate

Many Americans, including a high number living in low-income communities, have come to rely on canned tomato sauces, soups, and vegetables to expedite their meal preparations. Yet a new study from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reveals that the canned food items on your dinner plate are over 90 percent likely to be tainted with Bisphenol-A (BPA), a primary chemical used in the lining of cans. (For more information on BPA, check out Civil Eats’ previous reporting here, here, here, and here.)

These findings are notable because they underline the fact that BPA levels in cans are variable depending on the type of food, or even within batches of the same food item. This is the FDA’s largest study to date across a wide spectrum of commonly consumed canned food items, including soups, chilis, pasta and pork and beans–foods often consumed by children, who have a heightened risk of exposure due to their body size. Read more

California Will Vote on BPA Ban Today

The California State Assembly today will vote on a bill to protect our most vulnerable residents–babies and toddlers–from Bisphenol-A (BPA), a harmful chemical in their food and drink containers. (Civil Eats has reported on BPA here, here, and here.)

Assembly Bill 1319, the Toxin-Free Infants and Toddlers Act, would ban the use of BPA in baby bottles, sippy cups, infant formula, and baby food. The bill, authored by Assembly Member Betsy Butler (D-Marina Del Ray), which was passed by both the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee and the Health Committee, is headed for a vote by the full Assembly today. Read more

FDA on BPA: Our Hands are Tied

The FDA finally released its BPA report. The good news is that the FDA now admits that BPA—the endocrine-disrupting, heart disease-causing ingredient in plastic food packaging and can linings—isn’t entirely safe (contradicting the agency’s statement from 2008 that it was), particularly for infants and children. The bad news? There’s not much the agency can do about it. Here are the immediate, limited steps the FDA feels it can take “to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply”: Read more

BPA Gets the Boot from Chi Town (and Minnesota, too)

UPDATE: Emails show that the FDA relied heavily on the industry for science on BPA.

Chicago is the first city in the nation to ban bisphenol A (BPA) from plastic baby bottles and sippy cups for children under the age of 3. The Chicago City Council voted to approve the ban yesterday, which would be implemented early next year, and Mayor Richard Daley said he will sign the ordinance. “The F.D.A. continues to be recalcitrant and very slow about taking any action on BPA,” said Chicago Alderman Manuel Flores, one of two city officials who proposed the ban last year, after hearing concerns about the potentially harmful effects of the chemical to young children. Read more

Bumping Up the Ban on BPA

On Friday, leaders from the House of Representatives and the Senate introduced legislation to establish a federal ban on bisphenol A (BPA) in all food and beverage containers. The bills, which are identical, are sponsored by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Read more