Notes from BEP/ DEP Public Hearing on Removing BPA

Posted on September 6, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

More background via The Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine. About 75 people in attendance for today’s hearing at the Augusta Civic Center, including media. WMTW, WGME and others are here, as well as Kennebec Journal’s Sue Cover.

A reminder of who Patricia Aho is. That a chemical lobbyist serves as Gov. Lepage’s DEP Commissioner is still mind boggling…

Here is the press release from Natural Resource Council of Maine (NRCM). Some snips:

The message from parents, physicians, scientists, and health advocates was loud and clear on Thursday: get toxic BPA out of baby and toddler food. The Maine Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) heard from dozens of testifiers on a citizen-initiated rule that would phase out the use of the chemical BPA, or bisphenol-A, in the packaging of foods intentionally marketed to children under the age of three.

“No child should be exposed to toxic chemicals like BPA at the dinner table, and no parent should have to worry that the food they give their children is unsafe,” stated Jessica Graham, a mother of two from Waterville and one of the many parents who travelled to Augusta to testify. “The science is clear – BPA is dangerous; our children are exposed; and safer alternatives are available. There’s absolutely no reason to delay.”

In June of this year, a group of moms delivered over 800 petitions from Maine voters calling on the BEP to use their authority under Maine’s Kid-Safe Products Act to replace BPA in baby and toddler food packaging with safer alternatives that are readily available and affordable.

Siobhan Kümm was in attendance; here are a few of her live tweets:

Public BPA hearing to begin shortly. Roughly 25 people here so far. #mepolitics

Technical Experts to speak first in order of pro/con/neutral followed by general witnesses in same order #bpa #mepolitics

Statement from commissioner Aho: Joint hearing for efficiency. All comments will be before the board and the department. #mepolitics

Staff presentation: Summary of background and proposed rules. #mepolitics

Staff presentation: Five out of seven manufacturers that used BPA in baby products have stopped. #mepolitics

Staff presentation: The required reports have still not been filed. #mepolitics

Staff Presentation:Andrew Smith:state toxicologist: Maine CDC concurred that BPA is a toxicant and ingested by infants/children #mepolitics

Staff Presentation: Submitting documentation concerning data showing BPA exposure in infants/children #mepolitics

Staff Presentation: Reviews were specific to bans on infant/baby containers #mepolitics

Staff Presentation: Info submitted current. Enormous amount of new lit coming out on this topic #mepolitics

Thomas Eastler(committee): would like to see plotted dose response curves#mepolitics

Staff response: Dose response curves are there, depends on purpose of plot. Ongoing debate of BPA:trying to make safety determ. #mepolitics

Siobhan Kümm ‏@Siobhanleslie
Staff response: what is a safe amount to take in. #mepolitics

Staff Response: Right now baby food is defined as 2yrs and younger. #mepolitics

Staff Response: FDA March 30th decision to block the citizens initiative: #mepolitics

Staff Response: FDA determined what was a safe amount. Study showed how they determined that amount & compared to own findings. #mepolitics

Technical Experts in support of petition. #mepolitics

Michael Belivaue, Alliance for a Clean and Healthy Maine #mepolitics

MB: “BPA causes adverse neuro effects. reasons why rules should be amended:” #mepolitics

MB “Growing amount of evidence, many other countries joining ban, safe alternatives available.” #mepolitics

MB “Submitting letter signed by 30 prominent scientists.” #mepolitics

MB: Showing Dora the Explorer Spaghettios can clearly marketed for children. Currently have laws for food marketed to under 3…#mepolitics

MB:…need it for food marketed to older children as well. #mepolitics

MB: Chart summarising findings of safer alternatives at comparable cost across various products. #mepolitics

MB: The baby aisle in major stores look vastly different from 5 years ago. Many stores are now carrying the new packaging. #mepolitics

MB: You need to answer the question, is there a safe alternative to BPA? The answer is yes. #mepolitics

MB: The market has begun to move. Now is the time to make policy. #mepolitics

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