Infant brands are judged to be 'no danger whatsoever'

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The Independent Online
Babies are not at risk from nine unnamed powdered babymilk products found by British researchers to contain traces of phthalates-chemicals which can impair fertility, the European Commission said yesterday.

After carrying out an expert evaluation of the findings and their implications for health, the Commission said it had no reason to contradict the Government's assurances that the baby formulas covered by the tests are safe.

A report submitted by the Government to Brussels on Thursday detailed the levels of phthalates found in the nine brands analysed. "The values were very low indeed, much lower than would be allowed for plastic food packaging under EU legislation. The available scientific knowledge would suggest that at such low levels, there is no danger whatsoever" said a Commission spokesman. Health ministries in the 14 other EU member states were sent copies of the British report yesterday and are free to raise queries if they believe the levels do pose a risk.

The EU Scientific Committee for Foodstuffs, composed of member state health experts, meets routinely next week and would be the likely forum for any demands for common rules on phthalates in general.

The Commission official said Brussels saw no reason to demand disclosure of the brands in the British study despite widespread concern. among parents. "If the levels found are not harmful then there is no reason for us to alert people to specific brands."