Even with bipartisan opposition, Senate Democrats today voted to pass Assembly Bill 1319, a bill that will ban the manufacture, distribution and sale of an entire class of products designed to feed infants and young children. Specifically, the bill outlaws food and beverage bottles and cups containing bisphenol A (BPA), a compound that’s used to soften otherwise brittle plastic products.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have affirmed that BPA is not proven to harm children or adults.
Since 2005, 10 different international health, environmental and consumer safety agencies have ruled BPA safe. Additionally, the Wall Street Journal has reported that an EPA-financed study shows that BPA does not accumulate in the body, debunking the myth that BPA disrupts hormone levels and can be linked to ailments ranging from cancer to obesity to impotence.
“What California businesses need most today is a predictable and stable regulatory environment in which to thrive. Bills like AB 1319 don’t give our state’s employers the confidence they need to hire and retain workers,” said Senate Republican Leader Bob Dutton. “We should never use unproven science to ban products and force the business community to come up with a solution that does not exist.”
Besides its use in products for infants and toddlers, BPA is also used to coat the interior linings of canned food products. Banning its use for one class of products could easily lead to prohibitions for other uses, leaving food manufacturers to turn to new and expensive, and possibly harmful alternatives.
“With more than two million Californians out of work, the last thing we need is another feel-good, junk science bill which will accomplish nothing except take away consumer choice, and drive jobs out of California to states where common sense still drives lawmaker’s decisions,” said Dutton.
Numerous groups, including the California Healthcare Institute, the California League of Food Processors, and the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association oppose the bill.
Senate Republicans continue to press for a bipartisan jobs package. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats continue to pass legislation that does nothing for the two million Californians out of work. Actions speak louder than words.
# # #