For Immediate Release
Lawsuit Seeks to Ban BPA from Food Packaging
NRDC Sues Food and Drug Administration for Failure to Regulate Toxic Chemical
WASHINGTON - The Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit today against
the Food and Drug Administration for its failure to act on a petition to
ban the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in food packaging, food containers,
and other materials likely to come into contact with food. BPA, a
hormone-disrupting chemical linked to serious health problems, poses a
particular risk to fetuses, infants and young children. NRDC filed
today’s lawsuit in U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
In October 2008, NRDC petitioned the FDA to prohibit the use
of BPA in food packaging to prevent the toxic chemical from
contaminating food. The FDA has failed to take action in response to the
petition for more than 18 months, although the agency expressed concern
about the effects of early life exposure to BPA on brain development
and the prostate gland of fetuses, infants, and children.
BPA is found in wide variety of products, including the
lining of liquid infant formula cans, soda or beer cans, fruit or
vegetable cans, and pizza boxes as well as consumer products made
from polycarbonate plastics, including baby bottles, sippy cups, and
reusable water bottles. More than 93 percent of the general population
has some BPA in their bodies, primarily from exposure through food
contamination and other preventable exposures.
“BPA-free alternatives are already available and on the
market. The FDA has no good reason to drag their feet on banning it,”
said Dr. Sarah Janssen, a senior scientist in the Environment and Public
Health program at NRDC. “It’s upsetting that food is most people’s
primary source of exposure to BPA. The FDA should act now to eliminate
this unnecessary risk.”
A growing amount of scientific research has linked BPA
exposure to altered development of the brain and behavioral changes, a
predisposition to prostate and breast cancer, reproductive harm,
diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
“The FDA has failed to safeguard the food supply and protect
the public from harm,” said Aaron Colangelo, an attorney with NRDC. “The
FDA’s failure to regulate this chemical in food packaging in
unjustified, and so we are forced to ask the court to intervene and
order the agency to take action.”
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has 1.2 million members and online activists, served from offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Beijing.