The Food and Drug Administration has officially banned the use of bisphenol A in children's sippy cups and infants bottles. Though at first glance the news may seem positive, a look closer reveals lingering problems with the FDA ruling and use of BPA in food packaging materials.
_Linked to the potential health problems, BPA was labeled an ‘endrocrine-disrupting agent’ last year by the American Medical Association. In recent years, public outcry over the use of BPA in children's bottles and sippy cups had prompted the pro-chemical group, The American Chemistry Council, to publicly push for the ban in 2011. As a spokesperson for the ACC explained, the use of BPA in children's cups and bottles, ‘had become an unnecessary distraction to consumers.’ For the chemical industry, this ruling will hopefully put consumer's minds at ease over the safety of plastic sippy cups and bottles.
_For environmentalists and those who are calling for a full ban on BPA, their time will have to wait. Earlier this year the FDA denied a petition by the National Resource Defense Council calling for an outright ban on the use of BPA. In response to that petition, the FDA reaffirmed its stance that BPA is essentially safe for humans and that previous reports of exposure have been overstated. Citing a lack of enough solid evidence, the FDA upheld the use of BPA in food packaging and containers.
_While research regarding potential long term health issues over the exposure to BPA continues, production of the product does not. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 2.4 billion pounds of BPA was produced in 2007. With consumption of BPA containing product increasing worldwide, researchers may have trouble finding study participants who have NOT been exposed to BPA.
_Author: Kevin Gilmore