OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 6572

AN ACT CONCERNING BANNING BISPHENOL-A IN CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS AND FOOD PRODUCTS AND PROHIBITING CERTAIN ALTERNATIVE SUBSTANCES.

SUMMARY:

The bill bans, starting October 1, 2011, the sale, manufacture, or distribution in the state of:

1. infant formula and baby food stored in containers made with bisphenol-A, and

2. reusable food and beverage containers made with bisphenol-A.

Also starting October 1, 2011, it bars anyone from selling or offering for sale any food product stored in a jar or can made with bisphenol-A unless the container is labeled accordingly. It prohibits manufacturers from substituting for bisphenol-A other substances that are or may be carcinogenic.

It authorizes the Department of Consumer Protection to enforce the ban and labeling requirements, within available appropriations.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011, except for the prohibition on using prohibited alternative substances in place of bisphenol-A, which takes effect October 1, 2009.

INFANT FORMULA AND BABY FOOD IN CONTAINERS MADE WITH BISPHENOL-A

The bill bans, starting October 1, 2011, anyone from manufacturing, selling, or offering for sale or distribution in Connecticut infant formula or baby food stored in a plastic container, can, or jar that contains bisphenol-A. It allows people who can prove they purchased these containers before October 1, 2011, to sell their existing inventory until October 1, 2012, if they can show they purchased about the same number of containers before October 1, 2011 that they purchased in the same period the previous year.

The bill defines “infant formula” as a commercially available milk- or soy-based powder, concentrated liquid, or ready-to-feed substitute for human breast milk, intended for infant consumption. It defines “baby food” as a commercially available prepared solid food consisting of a soft paste or an easily chewed food intended for consumption by children age two or younger.

REUSABLE FOOD AND BEVERAGE CONTAINERS MADE WITH BISPHENOL-A

Under the bill, a reusable food or beverage container is a receptacle for storing food or beverages, including baby bottles, spill-proof cups, sports bottles, and thermoses, but excluding food and beverage containers intended for disposal after initial use.

LABELING FOOD PRODUCTS IN CONTAINERS MADE WITH BISPHENOL-A

The bill prohibits, starting October 1, 2011, anyone from selling or offering for sale any food product contained in a jar or can made with bisphenol-A unless he or she conspicuously labels the container: “WARNING: This container is made using bisphenol-A. ” The warning label or statement must be placed or printed in a conspicuous location on the jar or can. The label must have lettering in at least 10-point type, must be legible, and must be in a conspicuous color that contrasts with other printing on the jar or can.

PROHIBITED ALTERNATIVE SUBSTANCES

The bill bans manufacturers from substituting certain substances for bisphenol-A in the manufacture of a product. Prohibited substances are those:

1. listed as known, or reasonably anticipated to be, a human carcinogen in the most recent U. S. Department of Health and Human Services' Report on Carcinogens;

2. appearing on the most recent National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health carcinogen list;

3. classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as carcinogenic, probably carcinogenic, or possibly carcinogenic to humans; or

4. listed on the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency's electronic database as carcinogenic or likely to be carcinogenic to humans, or suggesting evidence of carcinogenic potential.

BACKGROUND

Bisphenol-A

Bisphenol-A is an industrial chemical used to make polycarbonate plastics found in such products as beverage containers, compact discs, protective food can linings, plastic dinnerware, and epoxy resins. It has been shown in laboratory animal studies to have reproductive and developmental toxicity.

Legislative History

On April 7, the House referred the bill (File 165) to the General Law Committee, which reported out a favorable substitute on April 14. Among other things, the committee (1) authorized DCP to enforce the bill, within available appropriations; (2) delayed various deadlines; (3) eliminated an October 1, 2014 ban on the sale or distribution of food products in containers made with bisphenol-A; (4) eliminated a provision allowing the limited sale or distribution of the existing inventory of reusable containers made with bisphenol-A; and (5) changed various effective dates.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Environment Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

24

Nay

3

(03/06/2009)

General Law Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

18

Nay

0

(04/14/2009)