Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee with oversight over the Department of Health and Human Services, will introduce the “Ban Poisonous Additives (BPA)” Act today to prohibit the use of the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) in all food and beverage containers.
BPA is prevalent in plastic bottles and most baby bottles and the linings of canned food and beverages, but more than 100 scientific studies have shown that low doses of BPA in animals can lead to increases in cancer, brain damage, altered immune function and other health problems.
Rep. Markey said, "From baby bottles to cans of chicken soup, BPA is present throughout American life. But concerns about the effects of BPA on human health have been mounting, and we've reached a point where the risk is simply too high. For the sake of the health of every man, woman and child in America, the best course of action we can take right now is to completely ban BPA in food and beverage containers, especially because there are alternatives already available."
BPA is used to harden plastics and is associated with a broad spectrum of hazardous effects. Often used to make plastic bottles and as a coating in the linings of food and beverage cans, it has been shown to leach out of the containers into liquids and foods, and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention found measurable amounts of BPA in the bodies of 93 percent of the U.S. population studied.
"Representative Markey's legislation is an essential step to improving the health of all U.S. citizens," said Jeanne Rizzo, R.N., executive director of the Breast Cancer Fund. "The presence of bisphenol-A in commonly used goods is shockingly prevalent, and the average consumer is unaware of what products to avoid. Americans expect and believe that their government is safeguarding their health, and this legislation is an important step in that direction."
Rep. Markey's BPA Act will ban BPA in all food and beverage packaging.
The bill has been endorsed by the Breast Cancer Fund, Consumers Union, the Environmental Working Group, Health, Education and Resources, Inc., Making Our Milk Safe, the National Research Center for Women and Families, the Public Interest Research Group, the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals and the Chicago Consortium for Reproductive Health in Minority Communities.