Vietnam yet to ban toxic feeding bottles: official

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Vietnam is yet to decide the fate of babies' feeding bottles that contain a compound recently found to have adverse health effects, an official from the Ministry of Health said.

Vietnam won't make a final decision on the organic compound Bisphenol A (BPA) until after a March 2011 meeting of Codex Alimentarius Commission, whose food standards and guidelines Vietnam follows, Nguyen Cong Khan, chief of the ministry's Vietnam Food Administrator, said.

Codex Alimentarius Commission was established in 1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

In November, the European Union announced a ban on BPA in the manufacture of polycarbonate feeding bottles from next March, and a ban on import and sale of BPA bottles from June 2011.

In an interview with Tuoi Tre, Khan said Vietnam currently restricts BPA to 0.05 milligrams per kilogram. So far, inspections by the National Institute of Testing Food Safety and Hygiene have not detected any products containing more than the limit, he said.

Scientists have not conclusively found the amount of BPA which is harmful for children, he said. Studies have only shown that BPA might have effects on development, immune response and tumor promotion.

Khan also said that feeding bottles for infants available in the market often have unidentified origins and unpublished quality standards.

He suggested mothers breast-feed their babies, which is safe and good for babies' health.

Meanwhile, Le Truong Giang from the Institute of Chemistry said that with new findings on BPA's effects on children, it is necessary to formulate a plan to ban the toxic BPA from all products manufactured for children.

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