Protecting pregnant mothers and children from harmful chemicals seems like an issue everyone can agree on.

The Legislature is presently considering a bill — L.D. 1181, “An Act To Further Strengthen the Protection of Pregnant Women and Children from Toxic Chemicals.” This bill would move us closer to getting BPA and other toxic chemicals out of our food supply. It would require the largest food manufacturers to report their use of Maine’s priority chemicals, including BPA, in their packaging.

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, which represents more than 7,000 households and 420 certified organic food producers, encourages people to contact their legislators in support of L.D. 1181.

In the past, Maine has seen large manufacturers respond to market restrictions and public pressure by abandoning their use of harmful chemicals like BPA. This has been evident with reusable plastic containers, as well as infant formula and baby food packaging.

The same is possible with canned food. Large companies such as Campbell’s or Del Monte can demand BPA-free cans or jar lids at an affordable price. Then smaller food producers, including Maine’s food businesses, could also access BPA-free packaging at an affordable cost.

Maine parents have a right to know what is in the food they serve their children. And Maine’s small food producers will benefit from the market influence of billion-dollar food manufacturers. Passing LD 1181 is a win-win for Maine families and businesses.

Chris Hamilton

MOFGA associate director

Whitefield

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