Testimony in Support of LD 844
April 10, 2013
Good afternoon Senator Boyle, Representative Welsh and members of the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. My name is Beth Ahearn and I am the political director of Maine Conservation Voters (MCV). MCV’s mission is to make protection of Maine’s environment a political priority. I am testifying in support of LD 844, Resolve, To Require a Study of the Availability of Food Packaging without Bisphenol A (BPA). MCV supports LD 844 because if we hope to get BPA out of food packaging for people older than infants we must know what alternatives exist.
BPA is used to line the inside of metal cans and lids, and it contaminates food and beverages when it leaches out of the epoxy resin linings. Why should we be concerned about BPA in food packaging? Because BPA harms the developing brains of young children and has been linked diabetes, heart disease, behavior problems and breast and prostate cancer. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services expressed formal concern that BPA may harm the brain and prostate gland in and alter the behavior of infants and children at the current levels of exposure.
The Department of Environmental Protection reported to the Board of Environmental Protection in December that alternatives already exist in the marketplace for baby food and infant formula. The study of alternatives should be expanded to include all food packaging. As the sponsor noted, manufacturers have not provided this alternatives analysis. Requiring that the study be done by the DEP is the next best thing.