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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Repost- “MPVC Alert: Attack on Seniors” (A Tribute to John Carr)

Posted on July 26, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

It was with great sadness that we learned today of the passing of John Carr. In tribute, we are updating a previous post from April 2 of this year and adding his 2 part address  delivered during the first meeting of Maine People’s Veto Alliance held Saturday, February 12, at The Old Goat Pub in Richmond ME. ~ed.

Part 1:

 

Part 2:

 

Latest email blast from Maine People’s Voting Coalition:

 


SENIORS NEED OUR HELP
There are so many pieces of “trash can legislation” in this session of the Maine Legislature that it is hard to keep track of them.

The material below was prepared by John Carr. John is President of Maine Council of Senior Citizens – an organization that has fought for Maine seniors for more than 20 years. The organization is the first “organization member” of the MPVC and John is the first member of the MPVC Steering Committee.

This legislation, while it directly impacts seniors, is also of concern to the children of seniors and other senior family members and it is of general importance to all Maine people who are concerned about the ongoing Maine and national Republican/Tea Party attempt to lower taxes for the rich and for corporations and destroy the social safety net at both the federal and state levels.

We urge everyone who shares this viewpoint to share this material with others and to send e-mails or make telephone calls to legislators to oppose this Attack on Seniors.

MAINE SENIORS UNDER ATTACK

Maine seniors and people with incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty level are being attacked by Governor LePage’s budget proposal and legislative proposals yet to be heard.

The Governor’s budget proposal includes:

·       $14.8 Million from the Fund for a Health Maine-Low-Cost Drugs for the Elderly program

·       $1Million from Low-Cost Drugs for the Elderly program to pay Medicare Part B premiums for dual eligible (low income eligible for both Medicare and MaineCare)

·       Elimination of the Maine Rx Plus Program. Estimated savings $212K. This program provides discounted prescription drugs to 42,000 Maine people and has been in effect since 2004 after a lengthy legal challenge including the US Supreme Court.

·       Elimination of the Prescription Drug Academic Detailing Program: proposed savings of $194K funded through recoveries of drug fraud cases. Provides objective information on drug therapy option, including clinical data and alternative treatments including generics.

LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS

Legislative proposals that have been heard and/or waiting to be heard by the Health and Human Services committee (HHS) are;

·      LD 346 has been tabled by Senator Craven for lack of information. The new Affordable Care Act provides for a “pharmacy dispensing” fee to be based on the average manufacturer price (AMP) plus 175%. The AMP is a per pill price that would be unknown due in part because of:

·       LD 719 “An Act to make certain prescription drug disclosure laws consistent with Federal Law”. Repeals Maine’s gift and advertising & marketing reporting law. Repeals disclosure of the base price for drugs. Deletes funding for academic detailing program, this program improves quality and reduces costs. Repeals the requirement that data on clinical trial results be posted publicly and deletes the funding mechanism

·       LD 572 “An Act to amend the Laws Governing the Maine Health Data Organization

·       LD 612  “An Act to provide Reimbursement for Medication Therapy Management

·       LD 116 a bill to repeal the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency law enacted in 2003. Bars conflict of interest, kickback and self dealing by drug industry middlemen and require the value of rebates to be passed through to ultimately benefit consumers.

Most of all, if not all, of this legislation is being promoted by the pharmaceutical industry.

Please contact your State Representative and State Senator as soon as possible to demand keeping the present laws concerning prescription drugs without change

John Carr, President                              Maine Council of Senior Citizens

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