Press Release
January 28, 2019

Pimentel, Binay, call for ban on use of BPAs in baby food containers

A proposal to protect infants and children from harmful chemicals is now due for second reading in the Senate.

Senate Bill No. 2170, also known as the BPA in Child Care Articles Prohibition Act is contained in Committee Report No. 564 prepared by the Committees on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship and Health and Demography.

It seeks to protect infants and children by regulating the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in baby food products.

The bill is a substitution of Senate Bill No. 1844 introduced by Senator Nancy Binay and Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III.

Bisphenol A (BPA), according to Binay, is a chemical primarily used in the production of polycarbonate plastic products and epoxy resin food can liners. It is used to harden plastics, prevent cans from rusting and keeping food safe from bacteria.

"Beverage bottles, food packaging materials and metal can-coated products including water and infant bottles are among the many food and liquid containers applied with BPA," Binay said.

Pimentel, for his part, cited the need to ban BPA as possible side effects on humans, particularly on infants and children may emanate from the use of the chemical which include endocrine disruption, heart disease, and fetal brain development, among others.

Under the measure, manufacturers of child care products are duty bound to use safer alternatives as replacement of BPA. Manufacturers shall not be allowed to replace BPA with substances known to have carcinogenic properties or any substance that the Department of Health (DOH) has deemed as causing birth defects, reproductive, or developmental harm.

The measure also directs the Food and Drug Administration to create an information system containing all the data on BPA and other harmful toxins and chemicals that can be found in child care products. This database will be made accessible to the public.

For its part, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in coordination with the DOH and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) shall develop a public information campaign aimed at encouraging all concerned stakeholders to prevent the use of BPA and other toxic chemicals in baby food or beverage containers and other child care products, and promote science-based method in the search for alternatives to BPA.

Anyone found violating the prohibition shall be subjected to a fine ranging from P50,000 to P300,000, or imprisonment of one year to five years, or both. In case the offender is a Filipino, the president, secretary, treasurer, or other officials responsible for the offense shall be liable for the penalty of imprisonment. Foreign offenders shall be deported after having served his sentence and payment of the fine.

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