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California state Assembly fails to pass BPA ban

Posted on Sep 14, 2009 | Comments (3)
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BPA industry dollars thwarted votesBy Sarah E. Brown

SACRAMENTO - Sept. 11, 2009. The California state Assembly failed to pass SB 797, a bill which would have banned the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) from use in children's sippy cups, infant formula and other food and drink products designed for children aged three and younger.

More than 200 scientific studies have linked BPA, a synthetic estrogen used in many hard plastics, to reproductive disorders, prostate and breast cancer, autism, birth defects, infertility in men, early puberty in girls and other serious health risks.

Support for SB 797 included a broad range of concerned parents, scientists, physicians, public interest and health organizations, including CHANGE, Breast Cancer Fund, Environmental Working Group, Physicians for Social Responsibility, California Women Infants and Children (WIC), Moms Rising, the California Teachers Association and the California Labor Federation.

According to Breast Cancer Fund Policy Manager Gretchen Lee Salter, SB 797 failed to secure the necessary votes despite overwhelming support in favor of the ban because well-funded BPA industry lobbyists were successful in targeting legislators, swaying the vote against protecting the health of California's children.

Director of the California Office of Environmental Working Group Renee Sharp said, "The chemical and pharmaceutical industries weren't shy in using the fear tactics they hatched behind closed doors here in California. Unfortunately, their influence, misinformation and outright lies carried the day."

According to Sharp, Connecticut banned BPA with similar legislation last Spring by a nearly unanimous and bipartisan vote, before the BPA industry had fully developed and implemented their PR campaign.

A recent BCF press release reported that BPA industry meeting notes leaked in May 2009 revealed plans to sway the California legislature by "befriending people that are able to manipulate the legislative process." The notes also detailed their strategies to use "fear tactics" to scare the public into opposing efforts to ban the chemical. These tactics appear to have been successful—at least for now, as the bill could be taken up again by the Assembly as early as January 2010.

"It's sobering that our Assembly did not act to protect the millions of California babies and toddlers who are exposed to BPA every day," said Salter. "This is a blow to kids' safety, as well as to scientific integrity. Now we must work to ensure they do the right thing in the future."

Comments on this post

We need to vote with our wallets and buy green products, or don't buy at all and try to reuse. These companies work in devlish ways.

There are chemicals in widespread use that would cause the things you mention. Exposure 'looks like' the flu and most of the time glycol ether not a virus is the cause of 'the flu' Suspect these teratogens, solvents, poisons, pesticides, neurotoxins (most frequently used glycol ether is 2-butoxyethanol) for cause of CFIDS, CFS, FM & various military 'syndromes' Even in 'Green' cleaning products are many glycol ethers 'non disclosed' http://www.valdezlink.com/re/flu/swine/glycolether.htm

I agree with Mr. Shawkat. If the industry is not going to do anything to protect our health, we must be conscious of what we purchase and drive the market in the direction we want it to go: free of any chemicals or pesticides. Even if it means sacrificing a few more dollars to buy a certain product that is known to not have any harsh chemicals in it and has transparency in the creation of the product, then that will be one step closer to creating a greener world and a healthier market.