According to CNN.com, Rep. Jim Moran, D-Virginia, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts will introduce a bill later this month that would give the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences power to ban up to 10 harmful chemicals from common household and food products.
Once the NIEHS has named a chemical as “high concern,” its use is illegal after 24 months. Bisphenol A, often used in plastics and known as an endocrine disruptor, is one of the chemicals that could be on the banned list. Bisphenol A, or BPA, is also used in the lining of many canned goods, which are a staple of pantry cabinets throughout the US.
Harmful chemicals such as BPA and DES, a chemical found in cattle feed and breast cancer treatment medicine, can change how hormones operate and lead to birth defects such as neurological disorders or autism, according to the article.
Hudson writes, “The chemicals, which can be either naturally occurring or artificial, are found in everyday products like detergents, flame retardants, foods and cosmetics.” Processed foods could also be under review, with many of their nutritional value lists consisting of nothing but chemicals.
If the bill passes, a consumer could expect to see many canned goods, processed foods, and even some produce that is covered in pesticides, removed from the shelves, at least temporarily. Should this happen, food producers would be forced to provide healthier and safer options for consumers.
Frederick vom Saal, a member of the Endocrine Society, “We are almost like a third world country when it comes to regulating chemicals. It’s very difficult for people interested in the public’s health to understand how does this become a political, partisan, issue when people on both sides have family that are showing diseases related to these chemicals. What is going on here?”
This is just another reminder to eat as whole and close to the source as possible. All chemicals introduced into our bodies should be considered a “high concern”, and limited as much as possible.
July 14th, 2011