Despite Evidence of Toxicity, Bisphenol A Present in Food and Beverage Packaging
Companies are not voluntarily removing chemical, highlighting urgent need for regulation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 21, 2009
Contact: Shannon Coughlin, 415-336-2246 cell, firstname.lastname@example.org
SAN FRANCISCO – Packaged food and beverage companies are still using the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in their packaging despite studies linking the synthetic estrogen to breast cancer and other diseases, according to a report released today by Green Century Capital Management and As You Sow.
The report finds that while some manufacturers say they are investigating alternatives to BPA, most are not. Of the manufacturers that say they plan to phase out the use of BPA, none gave a clear timeline.
This report comes just weeks after Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) introduced federal legislation that would ban BPA from food and beverage containers.
“The report underscores the need to move quickly to regulate this highly toxic chemical,” said Janet Nudelman, director of program and policy at the Breast Cancer Fund. “A handful of companies are moving in the right direction, yet plenty of products with BPA are still on the shelves. We can’t afford to wait for industry to act on its own while the health of our families hangs in the balance.”
More than 200 studies have found evidence that BPA exposure at very low doses is linked to a staggering number of health problems, including prostate and breast cancer, obesity, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, altered development of the brain and immune system, lowered sperm counts and early-onset puberty. Even minuscule amounts – parts per billion or parts per trillion – have been shown to cross the placenta and disrupt normal prenatal development.
Because of the increasing body of scientific evidence linking BPA to adverse health effects, many efforts are underway to reduce its use. In April, 2008, Canada declared BPA to be a toxic substance and announced it would ban BPA in baby bottles and restrict its use in infant formula cans. Just this month, Suffolk County in New York banned BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups, and similar legislation has been introduced in more than 20 states and localities. Retailers including CVS, Kmart, Safeway, Sears, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Kroger, Wegmans Foods and Whole Foods have announced they are phasing out BPA-containing baby bottles, and six baby bottle manufacturers have also eliminated or are phasing out BPA. Last month, the chemical manufacturer Sunoco announced it will require its customers to guarantee that BPA will not be used in food and water containers intended for use by children under 3.
“Consumer demand has driven a seachange among leading manufacturers and retailers,” said Nudelman, “but the rest of the industry is not responding in kind by putting safer products on the shelves. We need Congressional action to protect the public, particularly children, from this toxic chemical in food and beverage containers.”
Read more about the report at www.greencentury.com or www.asyousow.com.
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The Breast Cancer Fund is the leading national organization working to identify and eliminate the environmental causes of breast cancer. www.breastcancerfund.org