Senate Judiciary Committee member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. questions Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor during her confirmation hearing before the committee, Tuesday, July 14, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
BPA is a chemical used in epoxy resin to line items like food cans, glass jar lids and baby bottles. Senator Diane Feinstein wants the chemical removed from these items and replaced with a safer alternative. Her legislation puts pressure on the chemical and food manufacturing industry. There are roughly 30 industry groups that will work to defeat it.
Problem is, there isn't Feinstein is fighting for the law to be implemented on a national level.
This comes a year after the Obama administration, reeling from a string of food recalls and food related illnesses, called for an overhaul of food safety regulations. Feinstein's attack comes on the heels of studies that suggest BPA has an ability to affect estrogen in females. At least one study suggested American girls are developing breasts before the age of 10. That's earlier than in previous generations. Some studies have also linked BPA to heart disease, neurological problems and low sperm counts.
But Dr. Steven Hentges, executive director of the polycarbonate/BPA group at the American Chemistry Council points out that BPA is one of the most studied chemical compounds in existence. The chemical industry claims that an average consumer would have to ingest more than 1,300 pounds of food and beverages in contact with polycarbonate every day for an entire lifetime to exceed the safe level of BPA set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
In fact the FDA hasn't issued any warnings, holding fast to it's 2008 declaration that BPA is safe.
The Obama administration is serious about the food safety overhaul. With all the controversy over BPA, Feinstein's push could throw a wrench into things. Might we expect the appointment of a BPA Czar anytime soon?