I can’t even begin to tell you how excited we are as a family to hear about the BPA ( Bisphenol A) ban in baby food becoming one step closer to reality in Maine. This would make Maine the third state to rid themselves of this harmful chemical.
Is BPA really dangerous? Well, some say yes and some say no. I say that any man-made chemical that we don’t understand fully shouldn’t be used in mass amounts in our food sources. Given that the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has found some issues with BPA, that should help move a few people in the direction of at least thinking about the possible dangers of BPA.
Wait, you say, they only mark SOME concern at most, so I shouldn’t have to worry about it.
Here’s what I pose to you as a thought to think on: Theses tests were done on lab rats. While they are a common test subject for many reasons, they are still not human beings. Testing a chemical on a completely different species only gives us an inkling of an idea of the possible side effects. For the chemical BPA the side effects seen have been:
- impaired, altered, and compromised immune system and functions
- impaired female reproductive development
- sperm defects
- lowered sperm count
- chromosome abnormalities
- chromosome sorting errors
- genitalia deformity
- early onset of puberty
- impaired learning and memory
- increased aggression
- reversal of normal sex differences in the brain structure
- elimination of sex differences in behaviour
- changes in response to painful or fear-provoking stimuli
Obviously this one chemical isn’t the sole cause of theses issues, but as it can be a contributing factor, do we really want to see what this can do to us as a species in the long term? Do we want to see these chemicals entering our children’s bodies? Or to be more selfish, our own?
After the story started breaking throughout the news world, the American Chemistry Council’s Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group released the following statement:
The consensus of government agencies across the world, including the experts at FDA, is that based on the science, BPA is safe for use in food-contact materials. As recently as September, Health Canada reviewed the science on BPA and stated that based on the overall weight of evidence: ‘that current dietary exposure to BPA through food packaging uses is not expected to pose a health risk to the general population, including newborns and young children.’
It is important to allow the federal government’s regulatory authorities to make science-based decisions and not to create patchwork state restrictions when it comes to consumer products. BPA is one of the most thoroughly tested chemicals used today and has a safety track record of 50 years.
Dare I mention DDT, Silent Spring, and the countless years that people were told that the toxic chemical was safe for them?
But the FDA says it’s safe. The FDA even banned BPA from sippy cups and bottles. So, if it’s harmful enough not to be in bottles and sippy cups, why are we still allowing the FDA to claim that we should be able to consume products that have been carried in BPA plastics and BPA coated cans?!
Canada has even gone so far as to ban BPA.
Europe started the process back in 2010:
In an open letter to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), a group of 60 scientists and health campaigners from 15 countries said they feared exposure to the chemical Bisphenol-A (BPA) could damage health, particularly among vulnerable groups such as babies and pregnant women.
I think that, given the unknown effects of BPA in teh long term, there’s really no room for discussion as to whether or not this toxic chemical that other nations have already seen fit to do away with should be tossed like an old hat in the States as well. We, as parents, need to make sure our voices are heard on this. With current politics only looking at finances and gun control, we need to be the keepers of our food supply and make sure what we are feeding our families is safe – Safe for us, future generations, and the environment.