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The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a rule yesterday that bans the use of bisphenol A, better known as BPA, in baby bottles and sippy cups - though it said at the same time that the ruling was pretty much irrelevant because the makers of such products no longer use the chemical in their manufacturing process.

The story notes that "BPA has been linked to possible health problems of the brain, breast and prostate (and) it is commonly used in can linings and plastic containers to help prevent the growth of germs, and to makes plastics more impervious to damage." However, the FDA continues to stand behind a previous finding that it is safe in other products, a position that is supported by the American Chemistry Council lobbying group.

“This is a big day for everyone who has worked so hard to get BPA out of our sippy cups and baby bottles, especially the families who have lobbied the government to do the right thing for our kids,” said Jean Halloran, Director of Food Policy Initiatives for Consumers Union.  “Scientific studies show there are serious health risks associated with BPA, and this action by the FDA will help protect millions of the most vulnerable Americans.  FDA's next step should be to ban this chemical in infant formula containers.  Babies’ exposure to BPA should be minimized in every way possible.”
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