Saturday, May 3, 2008

Yeah? well, the FDA approved Phen-phen...and look what happened!

Remember my sky-is-falling post on the current BPA scare and the resulting emptying out of my kitchen cupboards? For about a week we couldn't eat dinner at the kitchen table because it was covered in possible-BPA containing items like sippy cups, ice cube trays, and plastic dishes.
What the hell was I going to do with all of it?
While I searched the web for reliable information to help me sort through the plastic, I fired off an email to Handi-Craft, the company behind Dr. Brown's Natural Flow baby bottles. I figured that they'd laugh at me when I asked for a refund on 8-month-old bottles, but I didn't really expect the level of corporate crap I got in their response to me.
Here are a few highlights:
"...We are aware of the proposed ban on polycarbonate bottles in Canada, as well as the decision by some retailers to phase out the sale of polycarbonate assured that all Dr. Brown’s baby bottles are safe for feeding your baby. As a respected and responsible manufacturer, we constantly test every aspect of our bottles to ensure that they meet all quality and safety standards and regulations in the U.S. and around the world. In fact, our Dr. Brown’s bottle passes the stringent European Union EN14350 test for BPA content with an ND or “Not Detected” rating, well below the EU limit of detection..."
...The proposed ban by Health Canada is a precautionary action, as the Canadian government has acknowledged that BPA levels in baby bottles are not unsafe for babies.
...By offering a choice of bottle materials, Dr. Brown’s has options for all retailers and parents – now and in the future.
...Polcarbonate plastic is authorized for food and drink contact application by government agencies worldwide. Polycarbonate contains miniscule amounts of BPA, which has been extensively studied and tested for health and safety by both manufacturers and government agencies. These tests have demonstrated that consumer exposure to BPA does not pose a risk to human health, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization, and governmental and regulatory bodies worldwide continue to support the use of polycarbonate plastic. We are comfortable with the enormous and long-standing body of scientific evidence from around the world that deems polycarbonate plastic to be safe for use with baby bottles, and for this reason we do not offer refunds or exchanges."
Well, that's just peachy. Go ahead, google "BPA dangers" and see what comes up. It ain't all sunshine and roses.
And as for the "helpful information and links" provided by Mr. Spin (not his real name) from Handi-Craft, well, it's not exactly rocket science to figure out that any information on the web site might be a bit on the slanted side.
Ya think?
There is, however, good news in this whole thing. At the local Babies R' Us this evening for a formula run, I went on a limb and mentioned to the manager on duty that I had purchased Dr. Brown's BPA-containing bottles from this store when my baby was newborn and, knowing that Toys R' Us corporate had announced they were dropping BPA-containing products by the end of 2008...well, that's as far as I got before he cut me off.
"Bring them back," he told me.
"Huh? But I don't have a receipt," I said, already cursing myself for not keeping better track of my paperwork.
"It doesn't matter," he said, smiling. "Just bring them back. We'll take care of it."
Yeah, I know. I'm in shock, too. But you can bet I'll be at the customer service desk the first chance I get.
Thank you to Babies R' Us for taking parental concerns about BPA seriously. And shame on Handi-Craft for assuming I'm an idiot.

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