20 January 2014

Citizens' Petition to Ban Bisphenol A in Baby Feeding Bottles, Sippy Cups and Food and Beverage Packaging for Kids



20 January 2014

Hon. Enrique T. Ona
Secretary
Department of Health
Sta. Cruz, Manila

Dear Secretary Ona,

Subject: Citizens’ Petition to Ban Bisphenol A in Baby Feeding Bottles, Sippy Cups and Food and Beverage Packaging for Kids

We, representatives of public interest groups working to protect the public health and the environment, request your office to please fast track the issuance of a Department of Health Administrative Order that will ban the use of Bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine disrupting chemical, in baby feeding bottles, sippy cups and other food and beverage containers for kids under the age of three.

BPA, a synthetic compound used in polycarbonate baby bottles and in epoxy resins for canned foods and beverages, has been linked to a long list of health problems, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, asthma, erectile dysfunction, infertility, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart ailments and breast and prostate cancers, often at low levels of exposure.

This New Year, we came across two studies published on January 7 and 10 suggesting that early exposure to low doses of BPA alters cells and can result to serious diseases in the future.

1) A study led by Prof. Gail Prins of the University of Illinois, USA and published in the journal Endocrinology showed that “exposure to low levels of Bisphenol A during development may make men more susceptible to prostate cancer later in life.”
(http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=bpa-exposure-linked-to-prostate-cancer)

2. A study by Prof. Raphael Stoll, Prof Dr. Jürgen Scherkenbeck  and researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum and the University of Wuppertal,Germany, published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry,indicated that BPA "impairs the function of proteins that are vital for growth processes in cells.”
(http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-01-evidence-effect-bisphenol-a-based-plastics.html)

To prevent fetal and childhood exposure to BPA via BPA-containing baby bottles, sippy cups and other food and beverage containers for infants and toddlers, we urge the DOH to apply the precautionary principle and bar theuse of such endocrine disrupting agent in such products.

By doing so, the Philippines will become the newest country to enforce a policy banning BPA, particularly in baby bottles, which is now banned in over 30 countries, including China, Malaysia, South Africa, USA and the 27 member states of the European Union.

Any further delay by the DOH may result to surplus BPA-containing feeding bottles and sippy cups from these countries (most notably China, our major trade partner) flooding Divisoria and getting into the hands and mouths of our children.

We know that you will agree with us that Filipino children should not be made to suffer from any form of preventable contamination that can severely affect their health later in life.

While we recognize that the immediate priority should be to ensure that only BPA-free products are made available to children, we believe that the ban on BPA should also cover all food packaging materials on the premise that if babies during pregnancy are to be protected against BPA exposure,women of child-bearing age should not consume BPA-contaminated food and beverage.

As we seek the elimination of BPA baby feeding bottles, sippy cups and food and beverage packaging, we reiterate our commitment to “defend the right of every baby to mother’s milk, the first complete and Zero Waste food, from the direct assault of deceptive advertising and promotion of artificial breastfeeding and chemical pollution.”

We thank you and the women and men of the Department of Health for doing your best to achieve “Kalusugang Pangkalahatan,” including crafting and enforcing robust regulatory measures that will protect our children against hormone-mimicking pollutants like BPA, lead and other health-harming chemicals and wastes.

Sincerely yours,

Aileen Lucero
EcoWaste Coalition

Ines Fernandez
Arugaan/Save the Babies Coalition

Dr. Melinda Atienza
Philippine Pediatric Society

Dr. MaricarLimpin
Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance – Philippines

Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan
Health Futures Foundation

Rep. Leah PrimitivaSamaco-Paquiz
Ang NARS Partylist

Senator Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
The Pimentel Center for Local Governance

Dean Antonio La Viña
Ateneo School of Government

Fr. Max Abalos
Action for Nurturing Children and Environment

Sixto Carlos
Lot Escandor
Angelita Flores
PiaPascual
Advocates for Environmental and Social Justice, Pandacan, Manila

Roy Alvarez
AlagaLahat

AnaleeRubios
Amavel Foundation, Davao City

Gina Mejia
AngkanngMandirigma

Marie Marciano
Ban Toxics

Romeo Saclolo
BatangasDos Fishermen’s Association, Mariveles, Bataan

Teresita Belen
Shrya de Guzman
Darlene Urbino
BuklodKabataan, San Mateo, Rizal

NoliAbinales
John Eric Belen
Rosa Clavel
Ferdinand Cruz
Nancy Flores
Belen de Guzman
Rolando Lagare
Rosalyn Ramos
Shaina Ramos
Lorna Sogodogo
Evelyn Taan
Buklod Tao, San Mateo, Rizal

Gie Relova
BukluranngManggagawang Pilipino – National Capital Region

Ochie Tolentino
Cavite Green Coalition


Elsie Brandes de Veyra
Citizens’ Organization Concerned with Advocating for Philippine Environmental Sustainability

Conrado Esemple
Columban Missionaries

Noemi Tirona
Consumer Right to Safe Food

Fred Bale
CRIV

Jimmy Lopez
DACS

Joseph Kwe
Ecology Ministry, Diocese of Kalookan

Ejoy Garcia
Ecology Ministry of Candelaria Parish

Aaron Pedrosa
Freedom from Debt Coalition, Cebu

Dr. Angelina Galang
Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy Environment and Sustainable Economy

Clotilde Rose
Green Earth

Beau Baconguis
Greenpeace Southeast Asia

Marvin Tampus
AbetGavino
Green Stage Filipinas –Maskara, Cavite

Merci Ferrer
Health Care Without Harm

Ann Fuertes
ChinkiePelinko
Interface Development Interventions, Davao City

Manny C. Calonzo
IPEN

Atty. Olina Velasco-Jacoba
KKK Cebu

Betty Cabazares
Kinaiyahan Foundation

Heidi Amigable
KongresongPagkakaisangMaralitangLunsod, Cebu

NenengJocson
Corazon Javate
KrusadasaKalikasan, Nueva Ecija

George Dadivas
Kupkop Kita Kabayan Foundation

SigundinaAnilad
LikhangKalikasan

Sr. Ma. Aida Velasquez, OSB
Lingkod Tao Kalikasan

Victor Sumampong
LISU Cebu

Allan Tura
Makabata para sa Bayan

Melvin Saladino
MalikhaingLandasnamagpapayabongsaSining at Kultura, Cavite

DagsMagaway
MamamayanAyawsa Aerial Spraying, Mindanao

Tessa Oliva
Eric Buado
Miriam P.E.A.C.E.

Sonia Mendoza
Mother Earth Foundation

Chandra Balaong
NEWLAC, Cabanatuan City

Romy Hidalgo
November 17 Movement

Nona Andaya Castillo
Nurturers of the Earth

Art Bollas
Obando Kami ay Para sa Iyo (OKAPI)

Mercedes Castillo
Occupational Health Nurses Association of the Philippines (OHNAP), Inc.

LitoVasquez
Office of Coun.Nida Cabrera, Cebu City

Noel Tambalan
Our Lady of Joy Learning Center, Cebu

Rene Pineda
Victoria Segovia
Partnership for Clean Air

Atty. Gloria Estenzo-Ramos
Philippine Earth Justice Center

Isagani Serrano
Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement

Aijhen Lopez
SK Federation Malabon City

Ben Galindo
Belen de Guzman
Sagip Pasig Movement

Bro. Martin Francisco, BSMP
Sagip Sierra Madre Environmental Society, Inc. (SSMESI)

Joyet Castor
SamahangMulingPagkabuhayMulti Purpose Cooperative, Smokey Mountain, Tondo, Manila

KokoyGan
SamahanPagkakaisangmgaTinderasaTalipapa, Caloocan City

TeodericoNavea
Jonathan Cruz
SanlakasSugbo, Cebu

AlipMintu
Shoreline KabalikatsaKinabukasan, Inc., Naic, Cavite

Rey Palacio
SiningYapak

AnabelleSantillan
Teachers Dignity Coalition, Cebu
Allan Tanjusay
Trade Union Congress of the Philippines

Johanna Bagacay
University of San Carlos, Banilad, Cebu


-end-

cc:
Food and Drugs Administration

                        

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