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Whole Foods Market joined the City of San Francisco at a press conference yesterday to support legislation that would urge retail stores and hospitals in the city to discontinue the sales or use of baby bottles containing the plastic bisphenol-A (BPA).
The chain had voluntarily removing baby bottles made with BPA from its shelves in 2006. It expanded this store ban in 2007 to include any baby product that went into a child's mouth. Whole Foods was the first retailer to offer the BPA-free Born Free baby bottle in the United States, and the first to launch Natursutten, a natural BPA-free rubber pacifier.
The natural grocer explains its position on products made with BPA on its Web site, and expresses concern about possible negative health effects from such products. "Recent research suggests that small amounts of BPA may leach into foods or beverages stored in polycarbonate containers, especially when the contents are acidic, high in fat, or heated," Whole Foods says. "Research also suggests that, at certain levels, BPA acts as an endocrine disruptor, a substance which mimics natural human hormones."
Whole Foods brought out its Northern California division Whole Body coordinator, Shoshana Friedman, to draw attention to the issue alongside San Francisco Supervisor Michaela Alioto-Pier.
At Tuesday's press conference, Whole Foods also said it has significantly expanded its selection of baby products to include an additional 200 "Eco Baby" items that it said are safe, healthy, and environment-friendly. The new products include biodegradable teething toys, and a wide selection of bottles and sippy cups made without BPA, PVC, or phthalates.