Tipping Point Reached On BPA: Investigative Reporting, Product Stewardship, and US Congress Take The Field For Baby's Future


"Chemical Fallout" reporters Meg Kissinger and Susanne Rust. Image credit:Kevin Eisenhut

In a matter a few years at most, babies living in the USA will likely be off the BPA-laced formula. Washington Post documents two important developments which signal this likelihood. In Bills Would Ban BPA From Food and Drink Containers, WaPo reports that "Leaders from the House and Senate introduced legislation...that would establish a federal ban on bisphenol A in all food and beverage containers." Read on to see what else is afoot and why baby's health will be improved.Federal Government Playing Catch-Up
With the US Food & Drug Administration having been in a zombie-like state for a decade - FDA did not even stay caught up with recent voluntary market pullouts from potentially Bisphenol-A leaching products, first by Wal-Mart and, a few months later, by all six of the major brand name distributors of baby bottles in the US - Congress apparently realized it was a good time to act on the other major Bisphenol-A exposing application: interior coatings on food packaging, especially on cans of baby formula.

Who knows how fast and how far the US Congress will go? The schedule formerly depended mainly on how good industry lobbyists were. But, the time has come (fingers crossed) that lobbying may not suffice.

Chemical industry Product Stewardship takes the lead, at last.
Another sure signal of the tipping point, is Sunoco Chemical's recent decision to halt sales into the BPA package coating market. Once that sales cut-off is fully in effect, other BPA suppliers will be hard pressed to sell into the same market, and a community standard will have solidified.

The move came a day after Sunoco, the gas and chemical company, sent word to investors that it is now refusing to sell bisphenol A, known as BPA, to companies for use in food and water containers for children younger than 3. The company told investors that it cannot be certain of the chemical compound's safety.

Investigative journalism deserves some credit: on St Patricks Day, especially!
Speaking of tipping point: lets all offer a tip-o'-the-hat on St Patty's to the fearless Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporters (pictured) who did some heavy lifting on this issue over the last several years, keeping the science of BPA risk evaluation in the public eye. We couldn'a been so very green without ya ladies!

I almost forgot to mention this. Journal Sentinel wins Scripps Howard award for bisphenol A series

The series "Chemical Fallout" by reporters Meg Kissinger and Susanne Rust chronicled the failure of the federal government to regulate dangerous chemicals found in everyday products such as children's pajamas, car seats and baby bottles.

Moreover, the reporting team tested 10 food products and containers to see what happened when they were heated in a microwave. They found that the toxic chemical bisphenol A, also known as BPA, leached from all the products, even those labeled as microwave safe.

It will help if a positive ending can be found from this miserable tale that had dragged on far too long. There may well be one. Somewhere, I bet, a coating formulator has a patented process for coating can interiors with a BPA-residue free layer; and, they are going to get lots of new contracts and do very well indeed - as soon as FDA approves of the coating for food contact. (Their suppliers in the chemical industry will benefit, as well.) Here's hoping the new FDA Administrator gets some hustle on so we can cover the happy ending.

In the meantime, wish the metal coating and can fabricating industry well, as they may have to do some serious re-tooling and formulating during a time when capital for such as that is very scarce.