FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oregon groups, legislators support new FDA guidelines on reducing exposure to bisphenol A
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced guidelines and concerns for bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical present in many hard plastic bottles and metal-based food and beverage cans.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced guidelines and concerns for bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical present in many hard plastic bottles and metal-based food and beverage cans. The FDA announcement today aligns with what the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health stated in 2008: the federal government is concerned about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children. Recent studies have reported subtle effects of low doses of BPA in laboratory animals.
The announcement today also included the following critical points:
- FDA noted that "infants are a potentially sensitive population for BPA."
- FDA is "supporting the industry's actions to stop producing BPA-containing bottles and infant feeding cups in the US market."
- FDA "supports reasonable steps to reduce exposure of infants to BPA in the food supply."
- "FDA will work with industry to evaluate manufacturing practices and alternative substances to reduce exposure to BPA."
- FDA is "facilitating the development of alternatives to BPA for the linings of infant formula cans."
Congressman David Wu, Representative of Oregon's 1st District stated, "America's health must remain the top priority of the FDA as it continues to review of the risks associated with the chemical bisphenol A. Too many questions about the safety of BPA, particularly in products used by children and infants, have been raised to simply ignore the issue and hope for the best."
"This is welcome news today that the FDA and HHS are taking steps to reduce human exposure to bisphenol A in our food supply," said Senator Jackie Dingfelder of Portland, "The guidelines issued today reinforce what we already know to be true, that we should be concerned about this chemical, and especially concerned where children are being exposed. While these guidelines are helpful, we all know that Federal action on these issues, even when the risk is clear, can take years, which is why we should seize this opportunity to close this product safety loophole here in Oregon during the upcoming legislative session."
Renee Hackenmiller-Paradis, MPH, PhD, environmental health program
director at the Oregon Environmental Council stated, "While we are glad
that the FDA is recommending reducing bisphenol A exposures in young
children and will be investing funds to further study the impacts on
all populations, we already know enough to warrant restrictions on this
chemical. Even low dose exposures to BPA are linked to health effects
later in life. That should be reason enough for them to announce a ban
now in both baby bottles and infant formula cans."
Restrictions on BPA have been put in place in Canada, Connecticut, Minnesota, the City of Chicago, and several counties in New York. Legislation to restrict the use of BPA has been introduced in 21 states in the past year. Similar legislation will be introduced in Oregon for the 2010 legislative session in Salem. The bill will call for a ban on all reusable and single use food and beverage containers that contain BPA intended for the use of children under three years old. If passed, effective Jan. 1, 2012 distributors and retailers could not knowingly distribute, manufacture or sell containers that contain BPA. This legislation is supported by the following coalition partners:
- Stand for Children
- Environment Oregon
- Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs
- Oregon Nurses Association
- Oregon Medical Association
- Oregon Environmental Council
- Planned Parenthood
- Rachel's Friends
- Oregon Center for Environmental Health
- Oregon Toxics Alliance
- Children First for Oregon
- Family Forward
- Project Children
- Community Health Partnership, Oregon’s Public Health Institute
- Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides
The complete statements by the FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services are available here:
- Update on Bisphenol A for Use in Food Contact Applications: January 2010: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm197739.htm
- Bisphenol A (BPA) Information for Parents: http://www.hhs.gov/safety/bpa
About the Oregon Environmental Council
The Oregon Environmental Council safeguards what Oregonians love about Oregon – clean air and water, an unpolluted landscape and healthy food produced by local farmers. For more than 40 years we've been a champion for solutions to protect the health of every Oregonian and the health of the place we call home. Our vision for Oregon includes solving global warming, protecting kids from toxics, cleaning up our rivers, building sustainable economies, and ensuring healthy food and local farms. Find out more at www.oeconline.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information:
Oregon Environmental Council
Jeremy Graybill, Communications Director
503-222-1963 ext. 111