Vietnam not to ban dubious baby bottles over EU warnings
Although EU has banned plastic baby bottles as they could contain bisphenol-A - a hormone altering agent, Vietnam will not impose such a ban as local tests only detect minute toxic levels.
According to Mr Nguyen Cong Khan from the Ministry of Health, Vietnam has detected a permissible bisphenol-A (BPA) level in the plastic bottles sold across the country.
Khan told Tuoi Tre Vietnam is applying the Codex standard (from the Codex Alimentarius Commission, supported by FAO and WHO), which allows BPA at 0,05mg/kg.
Up to now, no tests have detected BPA higher than that level.
An inspection last month also found no toxic additives, food preservatives or protective coatings, confirmed Khan.
Vietnam is waiting for a meeting on the Codex standard next March to decide whether to forbid the BPA-tainted bottles or not.
Meanwhile, Le Truong Giang from the Vietnamese Institute of Chemistry warned that BPA could have a genetic influence lasting at least three generations.
Glass bottles recommended
A recent market survey in Vietnam showed that concerned parents in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are switching to bottles imported from Korea, England, and Germany that are advertised as “BPA free”.
Parents also turn to glass bottles.
Although heavier and more expensive compared to plastic ones, glass bottles are probably safer.
Besides, there are transparent plastic bottles, which are light and solid. In some cases, they are unbranded. These products are cheap, at VND30,000 each.
According to Khan, mothers should breastfeed their child for better protection and enhanced immunity.
BPA is an industrial chemical used in making plastics in most reusable food and drink containers and in 95 percent of baby bottles, according to ABC News.
While many developed states such as the US, Canada, Japan, and most of the EU have banned BPA manufacturing in baby products, it is still classified as “safe” at a low level in Australia and New Zealand.
Studies from American Chemistry Council in 2008 stated that BPA has been safely handled in plastic industry in the last 40 years and that it poses no threat to human health at low-dose since it is excreted mostly through urine without accumulation in our body, thus it is neither carcinogenic nor mutagenic.
However, recent studies show it could disturb brain structure and hormone balance in young infants, increasing their neuron disorder, as well as affecting their social behavior and future reproductive ability.
For now, six US manufacturers were reported to be removing BPA from bottles sold in the US.
The European Union has also announced a ban starting from March 2011.
Tuoi Tre - December 18, 2010