Thursday, March 17, 2011

Grace Period

I am not so well-versed on the issue of the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA), apparently something that is used in the making of some infant milk bottles. I was told that these milk bottles have been in the market for ages now, and I think it's pretty safe to assume that most people—including those who call the shots in the Health authorities in Malaysia—who've been using them all this while were not even aware of the potential health risks arising from the presence of BPA. Either that or there were insufficient evidence to support claims or suspicions of the danger of BPA to humans.

Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that several countries have long banned the use of BPA in milk bottles. Therefore, one is inevitably drawn to the conclusion that there must have been good reasons, albeit not amounting to concrete evidence, to at least give rise to the potential harmful effects of BPA on humans, especially young children.

As we all know, when it comes to potential danger to humans, there is just no room for mistakes. If we even so much as suspect a possible negative effect on humans, such product should immediately be withdrawn from the market, until such time when there is conclusive evidence to show otherwise. This is because it is quite often that some chemicals may have long term negative effects on the human body which are irreversible. You know what they say, better be safe than sorry.

Therefore, I welcome the recent announcement by the Health Minister, outlawing the BPA milk bottles. But what I fail to understand is the extremely long grace period of a year until March 2012 for the ban to be enforced. I can't imagine how many children in Malaysia will be exposed to the health risks—however small and remote;whatever they are—within that one year period. If the Health Minister finds sufficient grounds to ban the product, then ban it now, not a year later. Otherwise there is no meaning to make the announcement now; he could have made the announcement in March next year and enforce it there and then.


Anonymous said...

BPA free plastic is a big thing now in the U.S. For everything from tupperware to water bottles to any kind of plastic that holds food or water.

Runners are pretty big into it also, it is becoming fashionable to have water bottles in ones hand or running belt that say "BPA free."

There is a new study out also, that has found the food coloring used to dye Coke brown, is linked to cancer. Since this dye does not affect the taste, just the look, they are scrambling to figure out how to keep it looking brown. Have they pulled it off the shelves? Nope.

Cornelius said...


I find your comment about the "BPA free" water bottles very interesting. I happened to be at a mall just now and thought I'd check out the available water bottles on the shelves. I couldn't find any with a "BPA free" on it. But I suppose we can expect to find them by March next year.

And wow if it's true that the colouring in coke can cause cancer, a lot of people are in trouble by now, since coke has been in the market for as long as I can remember! I guess like everything else, it depends on how much of the stuff one consumes. Hopefully, a very small trace would not be enough to trigger cancer? But at any rate, I rarely drink coke. So if I do get cancer one of these days, it means it's from other stuff I eat!... hehehe

Anonymous said...

I am going to be in kk the end of August! I am just passing through on my way to Sandakan, but still, look forward to seeing your city!

Cornelius said...

That's great, Sarah! How long will you be in KK? Lots of things to see and experience. You ought to spare a few days. After all, it's quite a long way from the States!

Anonymous said...

Oh how I wish :) We will be in Sabah for 8 days, and then 4 days in KL.

Cornelius said...

Wow! I'd say a total of 12 days is simply not enough for visiting Malaysia. I'd reckon that one should allow for at least a week to justify the number of interesting places on the west coast of KK alone. We have some beautiful islands; whitewater rafting (if you like the adventure); Hotspring & mountain climbing (we have the tallest mountain in this region); seeing proboscis monkeys in their natural habitats etc.

Then you have even more things to see in the east coast too!

But I guess the good thing about making short visits is that one would be enchanted with seeing a little bit at a time, thus wanting to come again and again for more!