The long wait for a decision on our proposal to get BPA out of baby and toddler food has finally arrived. The Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) is meeting Thursday January 17th to make a decision on whether to get the toxic chemical BPA out of children’s food. But the outcome is far from certain.
Last Thursday, January 3rd, the Department of Environmental Protection recommended that the BEP reject the proposal to ban BPA from the lids of infant food jars and canned food for toddlers. The Administration has now made their stance clear and sadly, we believe, have ignored the science.
BPA is toxic, BPA is in our food, AND there are safer alternatives to BPA. Please join us January 17th and tell the BEP that Maine families can't wait any longer for BPA-free baby and toddler food!
When: Thursday, January 17th
Where: at the Augusta Civic Center
What time: 8:45am (please arrive at 8:30) so we pack the room for the start of the hearing. We will also have a press conference at 10am press conference.
Maine has already phased out BPA from baby bottles, sippy cups, and reusable containers, thanks to the 2011 BPA ban in these products. This first BPA rule was overwhelmingly supported by the Maine Legislature, despite the Governor’s push to repeal the rule. (Remember the infamous “little beards” comment?) The Governor let the rule become law without his signature.
In June of last year, nearly 900 Maine registered voters and the Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine petitioned the BEP to outlaw the use of BPA in infant formula, baby food jars, and canned food for toddlers in favor of safer alternatives. The proposed rule was widely supported by Maine parents, physicians, health advocates, and small businesses at the September 2012 BEP public hearing. The only opposition was from out-of-state chemical manufacturers, other national industry trade groups, and the Maine Chamber of Commerce.
BPA in baby and toddler food packaging leaches out into the food at hormone-disrupting levels linked to cancer, learning disabilities, and other health problems. There are already safer and equally affordable options for food packaging without BPA.
On January 3rd, the DEP recommended that the BEP reject the proposed rule for baby and toddler food packaging, and ONLY adopt the rule for infant formula. This does nothing to protect Maine's children, since infant formula manufacturers have already voluntarily stopped using BPA in most of their packaging and the US Food and Drug Administration prohibited BPA in infant formula cans last year.
The recommendations of the DEP are only advisory. Maine's Board of Environmental Protection must make a final decision on the rule for BPA-free food packaging by the end of January. After the board provisionally adopts the BPA rule, the Maine Legislature must review and authorize its final adoption during the legislative session.
Time is running out! Let's make sure the BEP knows that Maine families are waiting - and we won't give up until BPA is out of our children's food.
To our health,