So it seems our country has a chemical imbalance. In that our regulatory system allows manufacturers to use chemicals in their products that have not been tested. Innocent until proven guilty apparently applies to what goes into our bodies as well.
As it turns out, BPA (Bisphenol A) has been found guilty, and the Food & Drug Administration officially announced that it can no longer be used in baby bottles and cups. This ruling is somewhat hollow though, since it follows the voluntary removal of BPA in baby bottles by most companies years ago. And it does not apply to formula containers or other items for youngsters. (Things that make you go hmmm)
And what’s worse, an article in the New York Times by Sabrina Tavernise says that what could be replacing BPA — BPB, BPF, BPS — might be even worse. Trouble is, nobody really knows for sure. Limited testing in other countries shows “estrogenic activity” for BPS, not a good sign. And scientists have found Bisphenol B (BPB) to be worse than BPA in stimulating cancer cells.
Incidentally, Bisphenols look to be pretty bad all around, according to Tavernise. She says BPAF, BPA’s fluorinated twin — used on electronic devices and optical fibers — might be an even more potent endocrine disrupter than BPA if new studies on them hold up.
So what does this all mean? Well, in addition to confirming that Bisphenols are bad, it basically tells us that our regulatory system, or what passes for one, is broken. A chemical is perceived to be safe until it’s proven that it isn’t. Kind of the same logic being applied to genetically engineered food. Only when people become sick and start dying does that chemical start to get questioned. At that point, companies have usually gotten years and years of good use out of it.
But what about your kids who have been the lab rats? What about you? For starters, use glass baby bottles and cups if you’re a parent. Then ask why chemicals aren’t tested first and added to products later.
A senator from New Jersey, Frank R. Lautenberg, has posed this very question. He recently introduced a bill to change our main chemical safety law, the Toxic Substances Control Act. The change would simply say that companies would have to demonstrate that their products are safe before they are sold to consumers.
Crazy, huh? Sad part is, companies will most likely fight this tooth and nail. But know that we, as consumers, have more clout than we usually give ourselves credit for. Get angry, make yourself heard, and vote with your wallet.
Your babies will raise their bottles to that.
- Change.org Petition
- Hitting the Bottle
- F.D.A. Makes it Official: BPA Can’t Be Used in Baby Bottles and Cups