California Lawmakers Fail to Ban BPA From Kids’ Food, Drink

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Renee Sharp 510.444.0973 renee@ewg.org
or Alex Formuzis 202.939.9140

California Lawmakers Fail to Ban BPA From Kids’ Food, Drink

OAKLAND, CA - In
a victory for the chemical industry and a great loss for the health of
California’s children, the California State
Legislature on Tuesday narrowly failed to pass a bill that would have
eliminated the plastics chemical, bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic
estrogen, from baby bottles, sippy cups and infant formula cans sold in
California.

The
bill had already passed the State Assembly (July 1, 2010) and the
Senate (June 2, 2009), but needed to be approved by the Senate
again in what should have been a non-controversial procedural vote.

However,
the combination of two ill and absent Democratic Senators (Jenny
Oropeza and Patricia Wiggins) and a heavily funded lobbying
campaign by chemical and formula manufacturing companies changed the
playing field and ultimately lead to the demise of the the “Toxin-Free
Infants and Toddlers Act”(SB 797), authored by State Senator Fran Pavley
(D-Santa Monica).

Pavley
introduced the legislation in response to mounting scientific evidence
that exposure to even minute amounts of BPA endangers
human health. More than 200 scientific studies show that BPA exposure,
particularly during gestation and early infancy, is associated with a
wide range of disorders, including breast and prostate cancer, birth
defects, infertility, early puberty in girls,
diabetes and obesity. Federal investigators with the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have found traces of the chemical
in 93 percent of Americans tested.

“Once
again we see children’s health sacrificed to the cold alter of money
and influence,” said Renée Sharp, director of EWG’s California
office. “Apparently, the fact that the Food and Drug Administration,
the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Toxicology Program,
and several other states and countries around the world have expressed
serious concern and/or taken action to reduce
BPA exposures means little compared to how money talks in Sacramento.”

The
San Francisco Chronicle reported that the chemical and pharmaceutical
industries spent more than $5 million to defeat SB 797, and
other press reports have exposed how these industries were using “fear
tactics” and “befriending people that are able to manipulate the
legislative process.”

Sen.
Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has said she plans to offer an amendment to
landmark food safety legislation currently before Congress
that would prohibit the use of BPA in all food and beverage packaging
meant for children 3 and under – including cans of infant formula.  

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), The Breast Cancer Fund and
Physicians For Social Responsibility/Los Angeles sponsored of the Pavley
legislation, and were joined by more than 75 other health, labor,
community, environmental ,and consumer protection organizations
in support of the measure.

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The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG) is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment. EWG is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded in 1993 by Ken Cook and Richard Wiles.

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