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Senator Dianne Feinstein introduces bill to warn consumers about health effects of BPA food packaging

Bisphenol A

(NaturalNews) Finally, the health implications of bisphenol A, or BPA, are becoming well known as science continues to uncover its harmful array of side effects on humans. The industrial chemical is routinely used as a coating inside canned foods. Because it is also a synthetic estrogen, BPA mimics the body's sex hormones, resulting in countless health problems including infertility, early puberty and cancer.

While the mainstream media is doing a better job at educating the public regarding the health effects of BPA, newly introduced legislation could take consumer education on BPA one step farther.

Introduced March 19, the BPA in Food Packaging Right to Know Act would ban the sale of food package containers composed in whole or in part of BPA unless they come with a warning label that states: "This food packaging contains BPA, an endocrine-disrupting chemical, according to the National Institutes of Health."

BPA found in 70 percent of food packages

The proposed legislation, S.821, would also require the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct "a revised safety assessment for food containers composed in whole or in part of" BPA to determine whether the chemical is dangerous (even in low-doses) to "vulnerable populations" such as pregnant women, infants, children and the elderly.

If passed, S.821 would have a huge effect on the food industry. Recently, it was revealed that nearly 70 percent of cans produced by major retailers, such as General Mills, Campbell Soup, Whole Foods and Trader Joe's, contain the hormone-disrupting chemical.

Testing across 19 states and one province in Canada found BPA in canned vegetables, fruits, soups, broth, gravy, milk and beans, according to Market Watch.

Though retailers say they're moving away from BPA packaging, the analysis found the chemical in 62 percent of private-labeled canned foods from "grocery stores, big box retailers and dollar stores."

It was present in 62 percent of Kroger products and half of Albertsons' products. No BPA was found in Amy's Kitchen, General Mills' Annie's Homegrown, Hain Celestial Group or ConAgra cans.

Taking a closer look at the bill's author

An interesting fact about the bill is that it's authored by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who appears to have done an about-face regarding consumer rights. Previously, Feinstein has thrown her support behind war in the Middle East, NSA surveillance and widespread gun confiscation.

She also introduced legislation "to route $25 billion in taxpayer money to a government agency that had just awarded her husband's real estate firm a lucrative contract to sell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry norms."

However, it appears she's taken a newfound interest in consumer safety. In addition to supporting the right to know if food packaging contains BPA, Feinstein is also supporting a bill that would devise a national standard for GMO labeling.

The Calif. senator co-authored the Biotechnology Food Labeling Uniformity Act, introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), which would give food companies several options for listing the presence of genetically altered ingredients on a product's Nutrition Facts Panel.

It would also encourage the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to work with food manufacturers to develop a national symbol disclosing whether or not a food product contains genetically modified ingredients, according to Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports.

It's worth mentioning that Feinstein voted against the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, legislation that would have prevented individual states from passing GMO-labeling laws, as well as reversing any that are currently in effect.

Calif. backtracks on BPA labeling

Businesses in the Golden State are required to include warning labels on products containing hazardous chemicals. Though last year scientists identified "reproductive toxicity" caused by BPA and added the chemical to its list of ingredients requiring labeling, the state is backpedaling.

Using the same argument that Big Food cited to weasel out of labeling GMOs, officials said that BPA labeling would somehow "confuse customers and cut poor people off from fruits and vegetables," reports the Sacramento Bee.

Instead of placing warning labels on cans, the state suggests placing signs at registers.

Food makers want to keep using BPA but promise to reduce the chemical to safe levels – critics argue there is no such thing.











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