Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, along with Rep. Grace Meng of New York and Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts on Wednesday introduced the Ban Poisonous Additives Act, a bill to protect industry workers and consumers from chemicals that the President’s Cancer Panel has indicated could be causing “grievous harm.”
Bisephenol-A (BPA) is used to make plastics and resins in thousands of common consumer products, including food packaging. Exposure to BPA has been linked to numerous health problems, including breast cancer, altered fetal development, and infertility.
The Ban Poisonous Additives Act (H.R. 5033) would remove BPA from food packaging, encourage the development of safer alternatives, and ensure a thorough safety review of all substances currently used in food and beverage containers. The bill also would require the Food and Drug Administration to examine the effects of BPA on workers who may have been disproportionately exposed to BPA during the manufacturing process.
“The Ban Poisonous Additives Act is an important step toward protecting workers, consumers, and families from serious health risks,” Capps said. “The dangers of BPA are well-documented, and we must do everything we can to ensure that both the factory workers who package food, and the people who consume our food, are safe. I am proud to introduce this bill in the House with my colleague, Grace Meng, together with our Senate colleague, Edward Markey, and I look forward to working with them to get this bill passed in order to fully protect our children and workers from being exposed to BPA.”
“It’s time to take the worry out of the workplace for our factory workers by taking the BPA out of canned goods and other food and beverage containers,” Markey said. “Doctors, researchers, parents and consumers all know that BPA is dangerous for our bodies, especially for vulnerable groups such as workers and infants and young children. The Ban Poisonous Additives Act will help ensure that our factories and our entire food supply are free from this damaging chemical. It’s time to ban BPA and move to safer alternatives.”
“This legislation is a no brainer,” Meng said. “Prohibiting the use of BPA chemicals in food packaging and developing less dangerous alternatives is a smart, common sense approach to improving the safety of our children and families. These improvements would also go a long way towards protecting workers who produce products that contain BPA. I urge the House to swiftly pass this critical piece of legislation.”
“Most people in the United States are exposed to bisphenol A every day, largely from food packaging-related exposures, despite known health risks to children and adults, such as cancer and infertility,” said Nancy Buermeyer, senior policy strategist for the Breast Cancer Fund. “The Breast Cancer Fund supports the ‘BPA Act of 2014’ because it will strengthen FDA authority to remove BPA from food packaging, and will spur the agency to review the safety of thousands of other potentially dangerous chemicals used in food packaging.”
The BPA Act is supported by a broad coalition of major worker, health, and environmental groups. A copy of a letter of endorsement from 20 national labor unions and Councils on Safety and Health can be found by clicking here and clicking here.
A copy of a letter of endorsement from 34 major health and environmental groups can be found by clicking here.
— Chris Meagher is the press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.