OAKLAND, Calif., Aug. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for Environmental Health today filed a legal petition to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), demanding that the state Safer Consumer Products program regulate BPA in canned food and beverages. BPA is a chemical known to cause birth defects, yet is widely used in consumer products, including in many canned foods.
In addition to birth defects, studies have linked BPA to breast and prostate cancer, low sperm counts, abnormal sexual development in males, early sexual maturation in females, increasing prevalence of obesity, and immune system effects.
"The state has denied consumers the right to know when canned food contains this dangerous chemical, despite long-established rules that require companies to warn consumers about this toxic risk," said Michael Green, CEO of CEH. "We are calling on the state to end this assault on consumer choice. There is no excuse for denying us our right to know when harmful chemicals are in our food."
In its petition CEH described monitoring by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing that almost all Americans (93%) have BPA in their bodies, and the US Food and Drug Administration's survey of canned food, concluding that canned food is American's most significant source of exposure to this chemical.
Last year, California added BPA to its Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause birth defects, notifying companies that they would need to start warning consumers about BPA in their products by May 2016. But just weeks before that deadline, the state released an "emergency" rule without public comment or notice, allowing canned food companies to continue selling BPA-tainted products without warning consumers.
Just last month, the state proposed extending the rule that keeps consumers in the dark about BPA in food cans until December 2017. Such an extension could undermine nearly thirty years legal precedence that has successfully protected millions of California's children and families from harmful chemicals.
There will be a public hearing on the proposed new BPA rule at 10:00 a.m. on September 12, 2016 in the Sierra Hearing Room at the CalEPA Headquarters building 1001 I Street in Sacramento. The hearing will also be webcast via https://video.calepa.ca.gov.
The state will take written comments until September 26. For background and a sample comment letter, see http://bit.ly/nobpa
SOURCE Center for Environmental Health