Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

BPA Ban Removed From Food Bill, Sperm Counts Could Suffer

The Food Safety Bill gets moving in the Senate, but some concessions had to be made. A BPA ban no longer appears in the bill and sperm counts might suffer.

four mutli-colored baby bottles

Photo: thesoftlanding (flickr)

These baby bottles are Bisphenol-a Free, Phthalate Free, and PVC Free.

Senate Passes On BPA Ban

Progress continues to be made this week as the Senate proceeds with the Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510), the same bill approved by the House over a year ago. If passed, the bill would give the Food And Drug Administration more power to regulate food and food producers.

But some concessions had to be made. For one, Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) push to include a ban on Bisphenol-a (BPA) in baby bottles was abandoned, fearing Republicans would be convinced by the chemical industry to block the bill if it was included. “The chemical council says no and I guess the other side of the aisle bows,” she said in a floor speech. “There is no good reason to expose our children to this chemical.”

This decision comes on the heels of The Canadian Health and Environment Ministries declaring BPA a toxic substance which poses substantial danger to human health last month. Canada was the first country in the world to ban the substance.

The Swimmers Aren’t Happy

This decision might affect more than babies feeding from BPA-laden bottles. A recent study found that men with high levels of BPA in their systems had a lower concentration of sperm and sperm that did not move normally. Another study conducted on rodents came to similar conclusions.

Critics site the small sample size (130 Chinese men) and the abnormal conditions (they worked in factories that produced plastic containing BPA) as reasons to dismiss the study. Additionally, studies looking at lower exposure to BPA, at levels most Americans experience, have produced inconsistent results.

Read More:

  • Senate Lurches Ahead On Food Safety Bill, But Hurdles Remain (NPR)
  • As BPA Levels Rise, Sperm Quality Falls (NPR)
  • Canada Bans BPA, Food Containers Get Safer (Earth Eats)
Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

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