Canada to ban baby bottles with bisphenol A

by Staff
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OTTAWA — The Canadian government is drafting regulations to prohibit the importation, sale and advertising of baby bottles containing the chemical bisphenol A. The government also is seeking to limit the amount of bisphenol A being released into the environment.

"Many Canadians … have expressed their concerns to me about the risks of bisphenol A in baby bottles," said John Baird, the Canadian environment minister. "Today’s confirmation of our ban on BPA in baby bottles proves that our government did the right thing in taking action to protect the health and environment for all Canadians."

The chemical, also known as BPA, is used frequently in baby bottles to harden plastic and make it shatterproof.

The Canadian scientific assessment found bisphenol A exposure through the use of polycarbonate baby bottles and from migration from can into infant formula is below levels that would cause effects. However, due to the uncertain nature of the chemical in general, the government and Health Canada wanted to act to protect infants and young children. Health Canada said the general public doesn’t need to be worried about possible risks.

"In 2007, we issued a challenge to industry under our chemicals management plan to provide information on how they manage bisphenol A," said Tony Clement, minister of health. "Today’s announcement is a milestone for our government and for Canada as the first country in the world to take regulatory action."

According to Health Canada, the scientific community also found bisphenol A entering the environment through wastewaters, washing residues and leachate from landfills. The Canadian government is also investing $1.7 million into bisphenol A research over the next three years.

The North American Metal Packaging Alliance was quick to respond to the announcement.

"We certainly understand the Canadian government’s desire to be prudent when it comes to the safety of infants and toddlers," said John M. Rost, N.A.M.P.A. chairman. "The levels of BPA found in infant formula are already significantly lower than the safe level designated by the European Food Safety Authority, which has the lowest regulated limit in the world and has recently reaffirmed the safety of this application. N.A.M.PA. is committed to working cooperatively with Health Canada further to reduce migration levels wherever technology permits. Our number one priority is to ensure that the foods delivered in metal packaging are safe."

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