FDA declares end of BPA in baby bottles, children’s drinking cups

Coverage of the Food and Drug Administration’s action confirming that manufacturers no longer use BPA in baby bottles or children’s drinking cups was widespread and focused on the FDA action, though sources also noted that the action was taken in response to a request from the American Chemistry Council.

Most sources also explained that the FDA continues to support the safety of using BPA in food containers. Many cited studies indicating possible dangers from BPA and the requests for a complete ban on its use in food containers by the National Resources Defense Council and a few Members of Congress.

The New York Times reports, “The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that baby bottles and children’s drinking cups could no longer contain bisphenol A, or BPA.”

It notes that “manufacturers have already stopped using the chemical in baby bottles and sippy cups, and the F.D.A. said that its decision was a response to a request by the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s main trade association, that rules allowing BPA in those products be phased out, in part to boost consumer confidence.”

FDA spokesman Steven Immergut said that “the decision did not amount to a reversal of the agency’s position on the chemical,” which it declared “safe in 2008, but began expressing concerns about possible health risks in 2010.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that the American Chemistry Council explained that it had requested the statement in order to eliminate “confusion about whether baby bottles and sippy cups sold in the United States contain BPA.”

The story notes that the FDA had rejected an effort by the National Resources Defense Council to end BPA’s use in food containers, and that the American Medical Association has labeled BPA an “endocrine-disrupting agent” and called for labeling “BPA-containing products with the potential for human exposure.”

The Washington Post reports that the American Chemistry Council “said consumer preferences had long ago forced manufacturers to abandon BPA’s use in baby bottles and sippy cups in the United States.”

The request was based “solely on a provision that allows anyone to petition for changes to food additive rules if they can demonstrate that a particular use of the additive has been abandoned.”

The Boston Globe reports, “Some consumer health groups chastised the FDA for moving slowly on the ban.”

USA Today reports, “About a dozen US states, including California, have banned BPA from children’s products. So, too, have Canada, the European Union and China.”

FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess said, “We continue to support the safety of BPA for use in products that hold food.” The story says that BPA “has been linked in studies to cancer, birth defects and reproductive problems.”

The AP reports that “the American Chemistry Council, had asked the Food and Drug Administration to phase out rules allowing BPA in those products in October, after determining that all manufacturers of bottles and sippy cups had already abandoned the chemical due to safety concerns.”

FDA spokesman Allen Curtis said, “Consumers can be confident that these products do not contain BPA.”

The New York Daily News reports, “Studies found contact with the chemical led to impaired reproductive and nervous systems in rodents, and the Food and Drug Administration is currently spending $30 million to determine its effect on humans.”

Bloomberg News reports, “BPA has been linked to male infertility, diabetes and cancer. A study in October said exposure in the womb may cause behavior and emotional problems in young girls.”

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