Read the text of the letter, signed by dozens of health and cancer related organizations, below:
July 9, 2014
The Honorable Lois Capps
2231 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Grace Meng
1317 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Capps and Representative Meng,
The undersigned organizations are pleased to express support for the Ban Poisonous Additives Act of 2014 (S. 2572/H.R. 5033). By banning bisphenol A (BPA) in food packaging and requiring the FDA to review the safety of other chemicals in food packaging, your legislation is an essential step toward improving the health of all Americans.
Most people are exposed to BPA every day. According to the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 93 percent of the public have detectable levels of BPA in their bodies. Although the presence of BPA in commonly used goods is shockingly prevalent, the average consumer is unaware of its potential danger or what products to avoid.
BPA is the building block for polycarbonate plastic and used in the epoxy resin linings of food cans. More than 300 independent human and laboratory studies have found evidence that BPA exposure at very low doses is linked to a staggering number of health problems, including breast and prostate cancer, obesity, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, altered development of the brain and immune system, lowered sperm counts and early-onset puberty.
BPA raises a particular concern for vulnerable populations such as women of childbearing age and young children. Even minuscule amounts – as small as a few parts per billion or parts per trillion – have been shown to cross the placenta and disrupt normal prenatal development. In addition, workers exposed to BPA in the process of making and packing food cans are also at risk.
Twelve states have already adopted legislation to ban BPA from baby bottles and sippy cups, and 3 of those states also banned BPA from infant formula and baby food. Following the lead of these states and a long list of retailers and manufacturers that banned BPA in food containers for young children, including CVS, Gerber, Kroger, Safeway and Toys R Us, the FDA ended its authorization of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups in July, 2012. A year later, in response to a petition from then Rep. Markey, the FDA also banned the use of BPA in infant formula packaging.
Banning BPA in the packaging of young children’s food is critical; however, to fully protect children from exposure to BPA and other chemicals of concern, we need to protect pregnant women and all of the foods that pregnant women and young children may ingest. Your legislation would also for the first time include workers as a vulnerable population that must be considered when the FDA reviews the safety of the chemicals in food packaging.
Americans expect and believe that our government is safeguarding their health and the health of their families from dangerous chemical exposures, and your legislation is an important step in that direction. We applaud your leadership on this issue and look forward to working with you to protect the public health by banning BPA from all food and beverage containers and requiring the FDA to ensure the safety of other food contact substances.
Alaska Community Action on Toxics
Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American Nurses Association
Black Women for Wellness
Breast Cancer Action
Breast Cancer Fund
Cancer Prevention and Treatment Fund
Center for Effective Government
Center for Environmental Health
Center for Food Safety
Clean and Healthy New York
Clean Water Action
Coalition for a Safe and Healthy CT
Empire State Consumer Project
Environmental Health Strategy Center
Environmental Working Group
Health Care Without Harm
Healthy Child Healthy World
Healthy Legacy Coalition
Huntington Breast Cancer Action Coalition
League of Conservation Voters
Learning Disabilities Association of America
Mossville Environmental Action Now
National WIC Association
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families
San Francisco Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility
Science and Environmental Health Network
TEDX, The Endocrine Disruption Exchange
WE ACT for Environmental Justice
Women’s Voices for the Earth