Only days after the Food and Drug Administration shifted its position on bisphenol-A as having “some concern” of its effects on people, two states have taken matters into their own hands. Washington and Wisconsin have both approved measures to ban the ingredient found in baby bottles and other food and beverage containers, becoming the third and fourth states to do so.
On January 25, the Washington state House of Representatives passed bill HB 1180 which prohibits any manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer from selling any container that has BPA. One day later, Wisconsin senators passed bill S271, banning the manufacture and sale of containers aimed at children ages three and younger. On the same day, the Wisconsin State Assembly Committee on Consumer Protection passed a similar measure.
Connecticut and Minnesota were the first states to prohibit the ingredient which is said to affect “the brain, behavior and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and young children,” according to the FDA. Those states enacted bills outlining the BPA ban in March of 2009. Representatives from the Washington, D.C. –based Environmental Working Group think these actions are a step in the right direction, but not enough.
“We’re hopeful that this time we’ll see positive results coming out of Sacramento,” Alex Formuzis, communications director at the Environmental Working Group said. “California is such a large part of this country’s economy; it would be hard for other states to not take action.”
Richard Wiles, the senior vice president of the Environmental Working Group, is “hopeful and expectant” of other individual state legislatures, individual manufacturers and retailers, as well as the FDA in outlawing BPA and starting to use a different chemical in producing containers.
The Obama administration’s steps so far “might be a positive indication that the new FDA plans to take a careful look at all the science of BPA, but the final outcome remains to be seen,” Wiles said in a testimony before the General Assembly in Pennsylvania on January 14. “In the meantime, our children remain the guinea pigs in a giant experiment with BPA.”