Midwives have existed since the
beginning of humanity. Why, then, is it so difficult to find a midwife in America?
What events occured between the mid 1800's until the present day which nearly made
midwifery extinct in America? And why are more families now looking into homebirth as a
refuge from hospital care?
For Immediate Release
May 12, 1999
Consumer, Public Health, Religious and Environmental
Groups Call for Immediate Removal of Potentially Harmful Substances From Baby Bottles and
Plastic Cling Wrap Groups Petition FDA, Call for Eventual Phase Out of Harmful Materials
Newly Identified Research Shows Greater Potential Danger; Industry Studies Flawed
"Baby bottles shouldn't release any chemical-let alone one that has been shown to function in the body like the hormone estrogen," said Philip E. Clapp, President of National Environmental Trust. "A young baby's body is rapidly developing in response to tiny, perfectly-timed hormonal signals. We have no way of knowing the subtle ways that an artificial hormone-like substance, like bisphenol-A, can interfere with that development."
A newly-identified study released at the press conference from
the peer-reviewed Journal of Health Science by Dr. Koji Arizono and other researchers from
the Prefectural University of Kumamoto and University of Nagasaki, Japan, used Solid-Phase
Microextraction, an extremely sensitive method of detecting and measuring small
concentrationsˇas low as 0.1 part per billion-of BPA in water and in food.
Dr. Arizono's results confirmed that polycarbonate material leaches BPA at high heat-also observed by Consumers Union in a May 1999 study reported in Consumer Reports and a in a 1997 U.S. FDA study. But the results also show leaching of BPA from polycarbonate at much lower temperaturesˇas low as 60 degrees C.
Dr. Frederick Vom Saal, professor of biology at the University of
Missouri, has studied the health effects of extremely low doses of bisphenol-A in
laboratory mice. As he told the ABC-TV news program, 20/20, "We've seen a wide
variety of damage in the offspring when we feed this to pregnant female mice. We have the
threat of a chemical that in an adult is not necessarily harmful, but in a developing
fetus or a newborn poses a very unique and very serious danger. We're talking about damage
in organs that sometimes is difficult to pinpoint but could have very serious health
The petition calls on FDA to promptly identify all ingredients used to formulate plastic food containers that may migrate into foods to which children are routinely exposed; implement a strategy that will eliminate or greatly reduce children's exposure to all such plastic food packaging ingredients; permit the use of migrating ingredients only after manufacturers provide substantial affirmative evidence of safety; and work with other federal agencies to implement a scientific investigation into the low dose effects of migrating ingredients in plastic food packaging.
According to NET's Clapp, the FDA has not yet recognized a problem with bisphenol-A because its regulatory approach has not kept up with the emerging science on chemicals that interfere with the hormone system.
Signing onto the petition are: National Environmental Trust;
Children's Defense Fund; Children's Health Environmental Coalition; Consumer Federation of
America; Learning Disabilities Association; Mothers & Others; National Council of
Catholic Women; National Council of the Churches of Christ (Eco-Justice Working Group);
Physicians for Social Responsibility; United Methodist Church (General Board of Church and
Society); United Methodist Church (Women's Division); and U.S. Public Interest Research
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