A major manufacturer of plastic baby bottles has settled a massive class-action lawsuit after failing to disclose that their bottles contained bisphenol A (BPA). Lawyers are calling it a “landmark” decision in the fight to ban the potentially toxic chemical.
Philips Electronics Corporation North America, one of seven defendants in the multi-district class action lawsuit, will be barred from using BPA in their Avent-brand baby bottles and sippy cups for four years—that is, unless all of their competitors (most of whom are also defendants in the case) continue to use the chemical and disclose its presence.
“Consumers had a right to know about this potentially dangerous substance,” says one of the plaintiff’s lawyers, Edith Kallas, “and the company had an obligation to disclose there was a controversy out there about it.”
While this settlement puts a bow tie on the case against Phillips, charges remain pending against the six other defendants, including Gerber, Playtex and RC2.
Several studies have linked BPA to health risks, including obesity, infertility and heart disease. A nationwide ban on the chemical in baby bottles was scrapped from the Food Safety Modernization Bill in November.