(NaturalNews) Seven leading scientists have sent a letter to the United Kingdom's Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, urging him to ban the use of the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) in products intended for use in feeding infants.
"We urge you now to adopt a standpoint consistent with the approach taken by other governments who have ended the use of BPA in food contact products marketed at children," they wrote.
BPA is used to make hard, clear plastics for products such as baby bottles, food containers and water bottles. It is also used to make resins that line cans of food and infant formula.
Numerous studies have linked the chemical to reproductive harm, especially in fetuses and infants. It has also been shown to increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer, and to cause cognitive damage and abnormal behavior. The Canadian government has banned its use in baby bottles, a number of retailers throughout North America have pledged to stop carrying infant products that contain it, and some North American manufacturers have voluntarily ceased using it.
Like the U.S. FDA, however, the U.K.'s Food Standards Agency continues to insist that BPA is safe.
"Keeping BPA baby bottles on the shelves is not an option," said Clare Dimmer of Breast Cancer UK. "It should be very simple, if there is serious scientific evidence that a chemical in baby bottles could increase the risk of life-limiting illness, it shouldn't be used. It is time government stepped in to ban the bottle."
According to a recent poll, two-thirds of U.K. residents believe that the use of BPA in baby bottles should be prohibited.
"As a medically qualified pathologist and parent to an eight-month-old baby boy, I feel that it is essential for the government to heed our call for precautionary measures to limit exposure of BPA to very young children," said Vyvyan Howard of Ulster University, one of the letter's signatories.