Six Major Manufacturers Pull Toxic BPA from Baby Bottles
Six major U.S. manufacturers of baby bottles have responded to consumer fears about bisphenol A by removing it from all of their baby bottles to be sold in the United States.
After pressure from the attorney generals of several states, six of the eleven largest companies producing baby bottles in the U.S. have agreed to voluntarily remove all BPA from baby products. The companies that will no longer make the potentially dangerous baby bottles include Avent, Gerber, Evenflo, Platex, Dr. Brown, and Disney First Years.
What is BPA?
Bisphenol A or "BPA" is an organic compound, suspected since the 1930's of being a potential toxin to which infants and children are especially vulnerable. BPA has been linked in animal studies to hormone disruption, birth defects and developmental problems, cancer, hyperactivity, neurotoxicity and infertility.
BPA is used in manufacturing plastics, to make them durable and shatter-proof – the kinds of plastic that are used in sports drinking bottles, medical equipment, CDs and DVDs, lenses, and electronic equipment. BPA can also be found in the coatings of metal food cans, dental filings, and in sealants, flame retardants, and fungicides.
Although Canada has banned BPA from baby bottles since April 2008, the FDA does not presently consider the concentration of BPA in plastic bottles sufficient risk to warrant banning the compound in the U.S.. The FDA may not be concerned – but American parents are, resulting in many products that contain BPA being pulled from shelves by Wal-Mart and other retailers in the past year.
The FDA May Reconsider Its Stand on BPA
In June 2008, a class action lawsuit was filed against the manufacturers that are now removing BPA from their products. Although the FDA maintains that the BPA concentrations that may be ingested by using plastic bottles are negligible, the lawsuit alleges that baby bottle manufacturers have not accurately informed the public about the risks of the bisphenol A used in their products.
The latest toxicology research reports that BPA is especially harmful for children under 3 years of age, and may affect brain and behavioural development in fetuses, infants and young children.
The FDA stated in December 2008 that it intended to reconsider the evidence on BPA's toxicity, in light of an internal report indicating that the FDA had overlooked significant evidence of BPA's toxicity, but no progress has been made on this reevaluation to date.
AboutLawsuits.com, "Toxic Baby Bottles with BPA Will No Longer Be Sold by 6 Manufacturers," March 9, 2009.
MSNBC.msn.com, "Baby Bottle Makers to Stop Selling Bottles with BPA Chemical," March 8, 2009.