Toronto- A recent poll conducted by EKOS Research Associates Inc., commissioned by Environmental Defence, found that 73% of respondents believe that the Canadian government should extend regulation of bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles to include other food containers, such as reusable water bottles and food cans.
“Banning bisphenol A in baby bottles and infant formula is a great step, but Canadians clearly want more,” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence. “The public wants this hormone-disrupting chemical out of our food supply entirely. And our hope is that the federal government delivers on this common sense proposition.”
When the government’s comment period on bisphenol A closes today, over 900 online messages from Canadians across the country will have been sent to Health Canada urging the federal government to ban bisphenol A in all food and beverage containers. The submissions are part of Environmental Defence’s online campaign to allow Canadians simple and direct access to the government’s regulatory process.
Currently, the government’s focus is on eliminating bisphenol A in baby bottles and infant formula cans. While this action is an important step to protect infants from direct exposure, there are other sources of this chemical that Health Canada needs to eliminate.
Health Canada’s own assessment of bisphenol A noted that this chemical can accumulate in the womb, exposing the fetus to levels higher than for other stages in their lives. In addition, bisphenol A has been detected in breast milk at levels nearly as high as those found in infant formula. There is also significant evidence that bisphenol A is acutely toxic to aquatic organisms, and the chemical has been found in surface waters, sediment, groundwater and other areas in the environment.
The federal government’s draft assessment and proposed regulations were published on April 19, 2008, making Canada the first jurisdiction in the world to consider designating the chemical as a hazardous substance to human health and the environment. The proposed regulations do not eliminate bisphenol A in products such as the lining of food cans, dental sealants, or the many other consumer products that contain this toxic chemical.
International organizations, expert panels and more than 150 peer-reviewed studies have associated bisphenol A with a variety of health problems (obesity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer and a wide range of developmental problems), often at surprisingly low levels of exposure.
“Canadians have rightly lost all confidence in this chemical,” said Smith. “With the non-toxic alternatives available, the federal government should require a transition away from bisphenol A, in all its applications in food and beverage containers, as soon as possible.”
The EKOS survey sampled 1,030 Canadians between June 3 and June 15, 2008. A sample of this size produces a statistical margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. The margin of error increases when the results are sub-divided (i.e., error margins for sub-groups such as regions). All the data were statistically weighted to ensure the sample’s regional, gender and age composition reflects that of the actual population of Canada according to Census data.
About Environmental Defence ( ): Environmental Defence protects the environment and human health. We research solutions. We educate. We go to court when we have to. All in order to ensure clean air, clean water and thriving ecosystems nationwide, and to bring a halt to Canada’
s contribution to climate change.
For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)