Sunday, March 13, 2011

China to ban plastic bottles to feed babies

BABY feeding bottles containing Bisphenol A (BPA) are to be banned, China's Ministry of Health said yesterday.

The ministry has drafted a regulation which is published on the ministry's official website,, for public comment but it didn't say when the draft will come into force. The regulation bans BPA from anything used to contain food or drink for children.

A European Union ban on the use of BPA in plastic baby bottles came into effect earlier this week.

China National Radio reported yesterday that the ministry had admitted at a press conference that BPA could disturb human metabolism, affect babies' immune systems and even induce cancer.

And it said that BPA could be released if a polycarbonate (PC) bottle was heated and could leach into its contents.

Some stores in Beijing have removed PC bottles from shelves, but the bottles are still available in Shanghai.

The Leyou Supermarket, a Beijing-based chain store specializing in maternity and child products, said they were to stop selling PC baby bottles in all their 150 stores around the country as well as via their website, CNR reported.

Carrefour Shanghai, however, told Shanghai Daily yesterday that they had not removed PC bottles from shelves as they hadn't received any official notice from the authorities.

"Once the national authorities ban the bottles, we'll strictly comply with that," said Li Jing, a company official.

Meanwhile, sales of glass bottles are rising.

Zhang Qian, the mother of a one-year-old boy, said she got rid of her plastic bottles at once on hearing the news, and bought her baby a glass one.

"I thought glass bottles were heavy, hot and easily broken, but now I have changed my mind as safety is the most important thing," she said.

On e-commerce websites, many vendors claim that the baby bottles they sell are "BPA free." On, China's leading e-commerce platform, vendors said their bottles, which come from Europe and North America, are made of silica gel or glass.

The price of these bottles ranges from 10 yuan (US$1.52) to almost 100 yuan, and they are selling well.

One Shanghai vendor, who identified herself as Duoduoyun, said the BPA-free bottles were especially popular this week.

"I have sold nearly 30 bottles this week, which is such a big deal," she said.


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