August 3, 2009: Markey Praises Mass. Decision to Issue BPA Health Advisory

Federal action still needed to complement state efforts

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the Energy and Environment subcommittee, today hailed Governor Deval Patrick’s announcement that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is issuing a public health advisory to alert residents of the Commonwealth of the health risks for children and pregnant and nursing women associated with the consumption of food and beverages that contain Bisphenol A (BPA).


 “I commend the Governor and the DPH for taking bold action to keep our children safe,” said Rep. Markey. “Today’s health advisory will help the most vulnerable populations steer clear of this dangerous chemical. I have introduced federal legislation to ban BPA in all food and beverage containers, and will work to see that it is enacted.”

 

Rep. Markey is a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Food and Drug Administration. Rep. Markey authored a bill to establish a federal ban on the chemical Bisphenol A in all food and beverage containers in the past two Congresses.  A version of the legislation was contained in the The Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009 which was passed by the House last week. The bill calls on the FDA to evaluate the approved uses of BPA in food and beverage containers and to inform Congress whether each use is safe by the end of this year.  If FDA finds that BPA is not safe, it is additionally directed to tell Congress how it plans to protect public health – which could include banning the chemical as well as efforts such as placing warning labels on products that contain it so that the most vulnerable populations will be better able to avoid it.

 

Today’s advisory specifically advises mothers of children up to two years old to avoid the use of products that contain BPA for making or storing infant formula and breast milk and suggests that pregnant or breastfeeding women eat or cook with fresh or frozen products instead of canned foods—which may contain BPA—to reduce fetal or infant exposure to BPA.

 

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