As a mother and professional who works with children with learning disabilities, I am very concerned about children’s exposure to toxic chemicals. I’m thrilled that nearly 900 Maine people are currently petitioning the Maine Board of Environmental Protection to remove the toxic chemical bisphenol-A from baby food, toddler food and infant formula sold in Maine.

BPA is a known endocrine disrupting chemical that scientific studies have linked to learning disabilities, cancer, obesity and other health issues.

I am very disappointed to learn that at a hearing on Thursday, Jan. 3, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection recommended that the BEP reject the citizen petition to remove BPA from packaging for baby and toddler food sold in Maine. While I commend the DEP for supporting the ban on BPA in infant formula cans sold in Maine, I am deeply troubled that the DEP is recommending that the BEP not adopt the ban in baby food and toddler food.

At the hearing, DEP staff acknowledged that babies are exposed to BPA in baby food and that BPA-free alternatives such as plastic containers and laminated pouches are widely available according to an expert report prepared for DEP.

Banning BPA in baby and toddler food should be a no-brainer. We know BPA is toxic, we know babies and toddlers are being exposed in their food and we know that safer alternative packaging is already on the market. At their next meetings on Thursday, I hope the Board of Environmental Protection makes their decision based on the scientific evidence presented, not the recommendation of the DEP. It’s time to get BPA out of baby and toddler food sold in Maine.

Nan Bennett

South China

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