Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif) introduced legislation last week that would require aluminum can and food packaging containing bisphenol A to be labeled as such. The law would also require more safety testing be done surrounding bisphenol A and its use in food.
“Scientific evidence continues to mount that BPA exposure is a risk to human health, especially for children. Therefore, it is essential that consumers know what chemicals are in the products they purchase,” Feinstein said in a statement. “Our children should not be used as guinea pigs by chemical companies when their parents are left in the dark about these harmful products.”
The BPA in Food Packaging Right to Know Act directs the Department of Health and Human Services to do additional safety assessments on BPA. However, over 200 safety studies have already linked BPA to health problems including cancer, infertility, and developmental problems.
“BPA is an endocrine disruptor that has no place in our food or food packaging,” EWG senior analust Sonya Lunder said in a statement. “We are grateful for Sen. Feinstein’s leadership on making sure disclosure and safety measures are in place to better protect people from this dangerous chemical.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has found the amount of bisphenol A is small enough that it doesn't pose a health risk, but health advocates are concerned these trace amounts add up—especially since BPA is found in so many places, from plastic bottles to cash register receipts.
“It is unfortunate that the FDA is ignoring an enormous amount of scientific evidence that points out the dangers of BPA,” said Lunder. “Hundreds of independent scientists disagree with the agency, which persists in relying on flawed, outdated and inadequate methods for assessing the toxicity of hormone disruptors. This is why Sen. Feinstein’s right to know bill is so important to Americans who want to reduce their exposure to BPA.”
Manufacturers have started replacing BPA in plastic bottles, but recent data has shown some of the replacement chemicals—such as BPS—may also be dangerous. BPS was recently linked to irregular heartbeat in rats and may cause disrupted prenatal brain development, making it clear just as much testing needs to be done on BPA alternatives.
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