Scientists have rounded on the Government for refusing to take action on a controversial chemical widely used in baby bottles – even though other countries have begun bringing in their own bans.
Denmark has become the first European country to forbid the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in any food containers for young children, amid growing scientific evidence which suggests the chemical could inhibit brain development and lead to serious health issues. Most mainstream baby bottle manufacturers have already begun producing BPA-free lines, but an investigation by The Independent this week revealed how leading high-street retailers, including Boots and Mothercare, were still selling off older bottles containing the chemical. Boots has since said it will phase out BPA bottles within "a couple of weeks" but Mothercare will continue to sell them until early August.
The British Government is resisting any sort of ban and continues to insist that BPA poses no threat to public health. Its stance contrasts with that of a growing number of Western governments which have decided to err on the side of caution and bring in temporary bans until more evidence emerges.
Canada and three states in the US have already forbidden the chemical in baby products, and the French Senate has backed a temporary ban.
There has also been a major shift in attitude towards the health implications of BPA in the US. After years of insisting that the chemical posed no risk, America's Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) changed its position in January and advised that "reasonable steps" should be taken to minimise exposure to the chemical.