Europe could ban baby bottles containing the chemical Bisphenol-A under legislation to be proposed next year over fears that it may harm a child's health, the European Commission said Wednesday.
European Union health commissioner John Dalli wants to pull such bottles off shop shelves across the 27-nation bloc because of the "uncertainties" about its effects on infants, his spokesman Frederic Vincent told AFP.
Only two EU countries, France and Denmark, have imposed bans on baby bottles with Bisphenol-A. Danish authorities went a step further by extending the prohibition to all food products for children up to three years old.
Bans are also in place in Australia, Canada and a few US states. Canada became in October the first country in the world to classify Bisphenol-A as a toxic substance despite industry opposition.
Dalli met with people from the industry to come up with a proposal and intends to draft legislation in the first quarter of 2011, Vincent said.
The European Parliament called in June for a ban on the manufacturing and sale of baby bottles containing Bisphenol-A.
Dalli decided to draft legislation after the European Food Safety Authority issued in September an opinion by experts on the chemical.
The report confirmed that Bisphenol-A was safe in very small quantities but also pointed to "areas of uncertainty" based on new studies, Dalli said in a statement on October 7.
"It cannot be excluded that there might be an effect on the development, immune response or tumour promotion," Dalli said.
Legislation proposed by the commission must be approved by EU states and the European Parliament.