Tests in the state of Maine have found bisphenol-A, or BPA in 11 of 12 samples of baby food, according to the Bangor Daily News.
A coalition of health and environmental groups in Maine plan to petition state regulators, and have accused prominent baby food manufacturers of violating Maine’s BPA disclosure rules.
New rules recently took effect banning the use of BPA in children’s sippy cups and other reusable food or beverage containers that are sold in Maine. Groups will announce plans to petition state regulators to extend that prohibition to containers that hold baby food, infant formula and food marketed at toddlers.
“BPA coming from diet is a significant source of exposure, and that is mostly coming from food containers,” said Amanda Sears, associate director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center, a member of the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine. Sears added: “This is the next phase of that — getting BPA out of our diets.”
The chemical bisphenol A (BPA) — used in clear plastic bottles, food-can liners, and packaging for many frozen, processed foods — has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, breast and prostate cancers, reproductive abnormalities, learning disabilities, and obesity.
The Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine said recent tests prove that BPA is leaching into baby food, and pointed out that BPA is not only used as a hardening agent in plastics, BPA is also commonly used to make the epoxy liners that form a barrier between metal in cans or lids and food in those containers.
The organization tested a dozen samples of baby food as well as as three types of canned food, including Chef Boyardee macaroni and cheese and Campbell’s Dora the Explorer soup.
Eleven of the 12 baby food samples and all three canned foods tested positive for BPA. The baby food manufacturers were Beech-Nut, Gerber, Earth’s Best Organic and Wild Harvest Organic.
As Kevin Miller on the BDN Staff points out, the chemical industry continues to defend BPA as safe and claims the World Health Organization has said it would be premature to impose restrictions on the chemical.
Maine’s Gov. Paul LePage shamelessly opposed the current ban because he did not believe there was scientific consensus on the issue. Maine lawmakers disagreed and voted 35-0 in the Senate and 145-3 in the House last year to ban BPA in reusable beverage containers.
It’s difficult to understand how anyone would oppose a BPA ban when the health of children and developing fetuses are in question.
Miller notes that BPA was banned in new, reusable beverage containers sold in Maine beginning Jan. 1 under rules adopted through the 4-year-old state law known as the Kid-Safe Products Act.
“As part of those rules, manufacturers of baby food, infant formula and some toys also are required to report to the department whether any of their products contain BPA and, if so, whether there were safer, alternative ingredients available.”