Gretchen Lee Salter, the Breast
Cancer Fund's senior policy manager, reacts to this week's big BPA news.
There were two big strikes against
BPA this week. Yesterday California added BPA to the state's Proposition
65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer or birth defects.
On Monday, the French government
warned pregnant women to stay away from BPA. In
their warning, French authorities point to the numerous studies linking
prenatal exposure to BPA with increased risk for later breast cancer. This
warning comes on the heels of a new French law that will ban BPA from all food
packaging, including food cans by 2015.
The Prop 65 listing and French
government's warning are powerful indictments of this toxic chemical that the
industry has argued is safe, despite waves of peer-reviewed scientific studies
finding that BPA harms reproduction, and is linked to infertility and breast
While I'm heartened by these
steps, we need our governments and industry to take even more decisive action
to protect the public health. We’ve known for years about the dangers of BPA,
especially to pregnant women, who should not have to worry whether or
not their canned food is toxic. When I was pregnant three years ago, I did
everything I could to stay away from BPA in canned food. But I was lucky. I had
access to fresh fruits and vegetables and alternatives to canned soups and
The Breast Cancer Fund's Cans Not
Cancer campaign is
working to make sure everyone is protected from BPA. We're pressuring
canned food manufacturers to stop using BPA and to ensure the
safety of any alternative chemical used in its place. We're also working with
states around the country and with members of Congress to pass legislation
to require the labeling of canned food containing BPA.
So while we applaud California and
France, we all
need to call on governments and industry to get this toxic
chemical out of our products.