An avalanche of lobbying buried two bills in the Assembly on Monday that sought to ban controversial chemicals from fast food containers, microwave popcorn bags and baby bottles.
The measures, Senate Bill 1713 by Sen. Carole Migden, D-San Francisco, and Senate Bill 1313, by Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, were the targets of large and well-heeled “working groups” of lobbyists employed by chemical companies, manufacturers and trade associations.
Bill to prohibit use of BPA, bisphenol A in children’s baby bottles defeated.
BPA Free (Picture Credit: m_a_ramos)
Migden’s bill would have banned the use of bisphenol A, or BPA, from containers for children less than 3 years of age, such as baby bottles and “sippie” cups.
Corbett’s bill sought to prohibit the use of perfluorinated compounds, or PFCs, from food packaging. The compounds, which are used to prevent grease from leaking through bags and wrappers, have already been abandoned by some companies, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has called for a voluntary ban by 2015.
Companies are currently replacing the perfluorinated compounds in their packaging even before the voluntary ban goes into effect.
Did California really need to pass these bills?
BPA free bottles are available for sale on regular basis.
The producers of these items had to make BPA free bottles to satisfy consumer demand. People made the difference and when involved in a major issue can and will make a difference
In response to consumer pressure, many manufacturers have stopped using BPA. In April 2008, Canada banned the use of BPA in all baby bottles and baby products, and at least 10 U.S. states have proposed and/or passed legislation that bans the chemical. Several major manufacturers of plastics have pro-actively stopped using BPA in their products. If this is the case, did the California government think about how much money it would cost taxpayers to pass the ban on BPA? Did the manufacturers of BPA free baby products decide to fight the bill because they are making safe bottles? Maybe the manufacturers thought consumers had enough since to read the bottle labels and knew that consumers were the ones that forced them to make a BPA free bottle?
Where was the public outcry from the consumers of California? Did California support these bills or if they did, it wasn’t mentioned in the Sacrobee.com article. Perhaps the people really did not care to support the bills.
European Food Safety Authority and the U.S. FDA say the BPA levels are safe, but they both regulate the use of plastics in baby bottles and other consumer products. In 2007, the European Food Safety Authority increased the level of BPA it deems safe. The FDA says that BPA can be “safely used as components of articles that contact food,” and as recently as April 2008, they stood behind the safety of polycarbonate plastic in baby bottles and other products.