Several years ago, the Food and Drug Administration banned the use of bisphenol-A (BPA) in baby bottles. Now they’ve taken the extra step in banning the plastic in baby formula packaging, possibly signaling the way for an eventual ban in all canned goods.
While the formula industry stopped using BPA in their packaging before the ban, the statement that this ban delivers is obviously crucial to getting some fuel for the anti-BPA fire.
BPA is used to harden plastics and can be found in all sorts of food and drink packaging—from plastic drink bottles to the linings of canned foods. Its use is so widespread that 90% of Americans have it coursing through their body.
The ban came on the heels of urging by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) who filed a petition asking for the ban last year.
“This is a major victory for America’s families, and I join with parents in celebrating safer feeding time for their babies now that this toxic chemical will forever be banned from infant formula,” said Markey in a written statement.
BPA is a hormone-mimicking chemical that has numerous detrimental health effects. It’s been linked to increased risk of cancer, infertility, heart disease, and more. Here is an article written by Mike Barrett outlining just 7 nasty effects of BPA. Canada has completely banned the use of this toxin, but as usual, the U.S. has been slow to catch up.
One recent study found that BPA could be fueling the American obesity epidemic. Analyzing the diet and BPA levels of nearly 3,000 children, researchers with NYU School of Medicine found obese children make up 22% of individuals with the highest levels of BPA. Obese children represented only 10% of those with the lowest BPA levels. In children, BPA’s hormone disrupting effects have also been linked to early maturation.
“The writing is on the wall for canned food makers,” said Janet Nudelman, from the Breast Cancer Fund. “If the entire infant-formula industry was able to go BPA-free, there is no earthly reason why canned food manufacturers can’t follow suit.”
While the FDA is still studying the effects of BPA (and we know how long their research can take), their ban represents that they know the plastic isn’t safe for everyone. Though they have yet to say it’s detrimental to public health, this latest move is one in the right direction.