Sarah Schmidt, a reporter for the Canwest News Service, took a close look behind Canada's 2008 decision to ban polycarbonate baby bottles, and found that the decision was very controversial. After looking at more than 5,000 pages of documents from Health Canada covering the two weeks leading up to the announcement, Schmidt wrote that she found "some unease within Health Canada about this precautionary approach to BPA." The story, "Decision to ban BPA in baby bottles was controversial: Documents," notes that David Butler-Jones, Canada's chief public health officer, initially plannted to offer tips to consumers on how to use baby bottles properly to reduce BPA exposure of infants, and he planned to commit to "exploring options to restrict the amount of bisphenol A found in baby bottles." But the government changed course and decided to move forward with a ban after a "gruelling five-hour dry run" with top political officials. This is a very interesting story, but should come as no surprise. I think it's fairly common for government regulators to move slowly on big policy changes like this BPA ban. The bottom line is that bureaucrats are unlikely to make a drastic switch without support -- or pressure -- from politicial leaders.
A peek behind the BPA ban in Canada
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