B. Sheats: Get BPA out of food packaging

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“Out of the mouths of babes” sounds a lot like “Kids say the darnedest things,” and kids do. But some things need to stay out of the mouths of babies and toddlers.

At their next meetings on Jan. 17 and 24, I hope the Board of Environmental Protection will ban BPA from food packaging for babies and toddlers.

During the past few years, Maine has implemented the Kids Safe Products Act through which Maine banned the toxic chemical Bisphenol A from baby bottles and sippy cups. Now officials need to act on food packaging (which was not covered by KSPA). Currently, 900 Maine people are petitioning the Maine BEP to remove BPA from baby food, toddler food and infant formula sold in Maine.

Recently, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection recommended that the Board support the ban on BPA in infant formula cans sold in Maine, but rejected the ban on BPA in baby food and toddler food packaging (seems kids aren’t the only ones to say the darnedest things).

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BPA is a known endocrine disrupting chemical that scientific studies have linked to learning disabilities, cancer, obesity and other health issues. DEP acknowledged that babies are exposed to BPA in baby food. And they agreed that alternatives such as BPA-free plastic containers and laminated pouches are widely available.

Maine’s BEP needs to act on scientific evidence and on behalf of Maine’s people and get BPA out of the mouths of Maine babies.

Bettyann Sheats, Auburn

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