By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Baby food packages, containers, and other products made with the harmful biphenol A, or BPA, may soon be prohibited in the country’s stores as the bill seeking the ban on its use and manufacture advances in the Senate.
Senate Bill No. 2170, the proposed BPA in Child Care Articles Prohibition law, is now up for debates in the Senate plenary for possible amendments and passage on second and third reading following its recent approval in the Committees on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, and Health and Demography.
The bill, which was contained in Committee Report 564, was a substitute of the measure filed by Senators Nancy Binay and Aquilino Pimentel III.
It seeks to protect infants and children by regulating the use of BPA in baby food products.
BPA is a chemical primarily used in the production of polycarbonate plastic products and epoxy resin food can liners. It is used to harden plastics, prevent cans from rusting and keep food safe from bacteria, the bill said.
Pimentel, who chairs the trade committee and sponsor of the measure, stressed the need to ban the use of the chemical for its supposed side effects on humans, especially on infants and children, which include endocrine disruption, heart disease, and fetal brain development, among others.
“Beverage bottles, food packaging materials and metal can-coated products including water and infant bottles are among the many food and liquid containers applied with BPA,” Binay, for her part, said.
Under the bill, manufacturers of child care products are mandated to replace BPA with safer alternatives.
The measure also directs the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to create an information system containing all the data on BPA and other harmful toxins and chemicals that can be found in child care products. The said database shall be accessible to the public.