BPA Ban Dropped from Food Safety Bill
ACC lobbyists turn Republicans against BPA ban proposal
A bipartisan proposal to ban the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles and children’s drinking cups has been grudgingly dropped from the Food Safety Modernization Act currently pending before the U.S. Senate. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who had called for the ban, withdrew the measure at the last minute on October 17, saying that lobbyists from the American Chemistry Council (ACC) had turned numerous Republican’s against the proposal.
Feinstein’s move came just hours after she and Republican Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming had hammered out a compromise agreement to include the ban in the language of the food safety bill. The proposal had called for BPA to be phased out from baby bottles and sippy cups within six months after the bill had become law and would have also let states make their own laws on the substance. Feinstein and Enzi are in charge of shepherding the food safety bill through the Senate.
In a statement, Feinstein blasted ACC lobbyists for scuttling her efforts and said that compromise was no longer possible on the issue. She chided the ACC for placing a higher priority on selling chemicals than on children’s health, and vowed to continue her efforts to remove BPA from products that could cause health problems for humans.
The development should come as little surprise to those following the issue. The ACC has been campaigning vigorously to block all attempts to ban BPA at the state level for the last two years. The trade group, somewhat disingenuously argues that BPA, which is a synthetic estrogen, poses no health hazard to humans, despite the fact that several countries have already banned it for precisely that reason. The ACC vigorously fought Canadian efforts to classify BPA as a toxic substance and ensured that the Ban Poisonous Additives Act, which would have outlawed the chemical, never saw the light of day.