US Congress told use of BPA in formula cans safe

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Infant formula, Bpa

New York based company Bristol-Myers Squibb spent $840,000 (€614,040) in the third quarter on lobbying the US Congress on safety and pricing issues including a bill that would ban the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in infant formula food packaging, according to media reports.

Bristol-Myers manufacturers Enfamil infant formula and lobbied to inform US lawmakers that the materials used to line infant formula cans are safe, claims the Associated Press (AP).

BPA is used in the material that coats the interior of most food and beverage cans, including baby formula containers.

A recent study by a team of UK researchers found that higher concentrations of the chemical in urine were linked with heart disease, type two diabetes and liver enzyme abnormalities.

And, in September, scientists from the US National Toxicology Programme said that effects on reproductive development from BPA in packaging cannot be ruled out.

In August, California lawmakers voted down a bill requiring that food and drink containers intended for children age three and younger contain no more than trace amounts of the controversial chemical; the bill had been vigorously opposed by both the US Can Manufacturers Institute and the American Chemistry Council.

Further research

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced last month that it has no plans to review its stance on BPA, but will continue to research the chemical.

The regulator said that it is re-evaluating available data, and planning to source additional information so as to strengthen the exposure estimates from all dietary sources of BPA, particularly those relevant to infants and children.

Toxic substance

In October, the Canadian government formally declared BPA a hazardous substance and placed the chemical on its list of toxic substances.

It is to introduce new regulations to prohibit the importation, sale and advertising of polycarbonate baby bottles that contain the chemical, as well as taking action to limit the amount of BPA being released into the environment.

And associations in Canada have recently called on the government to introduce a wide-ranging ban on the use of BPA in food packaging claiming that pregnant women could be at risk of ingesting it through food and inadvertently exposing foetuses to the chemical.

Related topics: Regulation & Safety

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