Christine Stuart photo

The legislature’s General Law Committee moved forward a bill Tuesday that bans the controversial chemical bisphenol A, also known as BPA, in all baby products, foods, and containers.

Rep. Jim Shapiro, D-Stamford, said the modified version of the bill pushes back implementation of the ban on BPA in all infant and baby products to Oct. 1, 2011. It also removed the ban on all products containing BPA and limited the ban to infant and baby products.

Wal-Mart’s decision last year to ban BPA in all the baby bottles it sells will do more to change the industry than this legislation ever could, Shapiro said.

He said before banning the chemical in all cans and containers he would like to see the results of studies on humans. Most of the studies concerning BPA have been done on lab rats, but several human studies are underway.

Rep. Lonnie Reed, D-Branford, said the research on this chemical, which is known to be a hormone disrupter, is evolving. She said as a breast cancer survivor she became aware that BPA mimics estrogen and reduces the impact chemotherapy has on the cancer cells.

Christine Stuart photo

While the chemical industry is researching safer alternatives, its lobby is still seeking to defeat this type of legislation.

“Within the last year, the European Union, European Food Safety Authority, Germa Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Danish Environmental Protection Agency, French Food Safety Authority, Swiss Office for Public Health, and others have evaluated BPA and concluded that BPA is safe in food-contact products,” Steven Hentges, of the American Chemistry Council, said in a press release.

“In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s thorough analysis confirms that food contact materials containing BPA can continue to be used safely,” the American Chemistry Council press release goes onto state.

Sarah Uhl, coordinator of the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Connecticut, says that’s not exactly true. She said this past weekend Rochelle Tyl, the author of the two studies being used as the FDA’s benchmark admitted that the studies were flawed and they were paid for by the American Chemistry Council.

An international consortium is expected to come out with a consensus statement regarding BPA’s safety within the next few weeks.

In the meantime, Uhl and the group of supporters gathered Tuesday will continue to lobby legislators to support the bill as it makes its way to the House.