I received the following gem in my home mailbox last week:
The American Chemistry Council is bringing out the big guns and trying to frighten Californians into opposing the state’s proposed ban on Bisphenol-A (an additive in polycarbonate plastic and in the plastic lining of most food cans) in containers and canned foods meant for babies and toddlers.
The industry’s scare tactics include the following language, “Soon, many common, everyday products could disappear from grocery store shelves across California,” and “Your favorite Products May Soon Disappear.” The brochure urges recipients to call their Assembly Member and ask them to vote no on SB1713.
The brochure shows photos of women shoppers looking at various products they’ve picked up from the shelves. Only one of these products is a can. The other two appear to be boxes, which wouldn’t contain BPA in the first place. AND none of the products appears to be intended primarily for children, as the language of the bill states. Here’s the full summary of SB1713:
SUMMARY : Enacts the Toxin-Free Toddlers and Babies Act which prohibits the sale, manufacture or distribution in commerce of food containers for children that contain bisphenol A (BPA) above a specified level. Specifically, this bill :
1)Prohibits the manufacture, sale, or distribution in commerce of any bottle, cup, or other container that contains BPA, at a level above 0.1 parts per billion (ppb), if the container is designed or intended to be filled with any liquid, food, or beverage primarily for consumption by infants or children three years of age or younger.
2)Prohibits, commencing January 1, 2012, the manufacture, sale, or distribution in commerce of any liquid, food, or beverage in a can, jar, or other container containing BPA, at a level above 0.5 ppb, if the liquid, food, or beverage is designed or intended primarily for consumption by infants or children three years of age or younger.
3)Clarifies that the prohibitions in this bill do not apply to food and beverage containers designed or intended primarily to contain liquid, food, or beverages for consumption by the general population.
To be sure, the brochure was annoying, but also quite helpful. Until it arrived in my mailbox, I actually didn’t realize this bill was coming up for a vote, and the inclusion of the name and phone number of my assembly member on the back made it especially easy for me to call and urge Sandre Swanson to vote YES on the bill.
In fact, according to an article on Enviroblog a few days ago, the industry’s strategy seems to be backfiring. Many other Californians, like me, are irritated by this misleading campaign and are doing exactly what I did.
Do you live in California and if so, have you received this brochure? If so, please call your assembly member and ask them to Vote YES on SB1713. Didn’t receive the brochure? You can call your Assembly member anyway. You can find your representative’s phone number on this CA Assembly Member List by clicking “Find Your Legislator by your address.”
For more information about the dangers of BPA, read Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Bisphenol-A and EWG’s Survey of BPA in Canned Foods.