Saturday, December 5, 2009

Plea over chemical in baby bottles

Campaigners are calling for baby bottles containing the Bisphenol A chemical to be removed from UK shelves.

Scientists, charities and representatives from the National Childbirth Trust said there is "compelling" scientific evidence that the chemical is linked to breast cancer and other conditions. Scientists have long been divided on whether Bisphenol A (often abbreviated to BPA) causes health problems in people after several lab studies showed problems in mice, including changes to the reproductive system. The chemical is widely used in plastics and is commonly found in food and drink containers. Some experts believe young children may be particularly vulnerable.

In March, baby bottle manufacturers in the US removed BPA from their products, saying they were reacting to consumer demand. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently reviewing BPA after experts questioned its view that BPA remains safe for food containers and baby bottles.

Breast Cancer UK has released a survey of more than 2,000 adults which found that 50 per cent strongly agree and another 29 per cent agree "it is important that the UK Government acts in a precautionary way when it comes to protecting babies and very young children from BPA". It also published a letter to Health Secretary Andy Burnham from a group of scientists backing its No More BPA campaign.

The experts, from universities in Stirling, Ulster, London, Plymouth and Reading urged the Government "to adopt a standpoint consistent with the approach taken by other governments who have ended the use of BPA in food contact products marketed at children".

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