Some sleuthing, some PR issues and the Beaba Babycook BPA Free

Beaba BabycookI just read on Healthy Child Healthy World’s blog that the Beaba Babycook is now free of bisphenol A (BPA).  Not familiar with the Babycook?  It is a combination steamer, blender, warmer and defroster for preparing homemade baby food.  I’ve personally never used it, but it gets great reviews over at Amazon.

But, the Babycook has been subject to much frustration among green parents because of confusing information as to whether it was free of the hormone-disrupting chemical BPA.  And Healthy Child guest blogger Jeremiah McNichols of Z Recommends posts a great sleuthing story with a happy ending – the Babycook is now BPA-free. 

The tale Jeremiah tells regarding getting information from Beaba is much the same as my own.  On behalf of a Smart Mama reader in May, 2008, I investigated the Beaba Babycook.  The Williams Sonoma website identified it as having some polycarbonate plastic components, and the reader wanted to know if it was free of bisphenol A (BPA), the hormone disruptor.  She had actually gotten different information from the manufacturer, Beaba.  And, since BPA is a key monomer of polycarbonate plastic, we dashed off an email to find out.

The first response from Beaba was not particularly enlightening:

Dear Customer,

The baby cook bowl is made of a specific and technical raw material but it is not Polycarbonate (PC). Then our product complies with European and USA standard (including FDA).

This email response didn’t really answer the question and I didn’t have any luck with phone calls to Williams Sonoma or Beaba in France.  So, I asked a follow up and then got this response:

Concerning your request, please find attached some elements of answer.

All our products are regularly tested by independent laboratories and comply with the European standards, moreover known as very strict and severe. There is a standard for all the intended nursery items for liquid and solid food. In these specifications, a test is made to determine the quantity of Bisphénol A being able to migrate. It is impossible in Europe to sell a product intended for the children, having a risk of letting a too important quantity of Bisphénol A propagate (the threshold of eligibility of this substance given by the standard is moreover very low).

I give you as information, the main materials used in our products: 

–     Babycook: polypropylene PP and PSU (technical and specific raw material). There is no polycarbonate (PC) in the Baby Cook.

Small and big food jar: Polycarbonate PC.

Indeed the polycarbonate contains it, for the other materials, it is delicate to take position, there is potentially part of bisphénol A in the original components of material but residues are not necessarily present in the final polymer. Sorry for this partial answer but we try to answer to most of the European + the USA (notably for the baby cook) standards.

Having learned that the jars were polycarbonate plastic and that the Babycook itself contains PSU (which can have BPA), the Smart Mama reader decided not to purchase it, and I left the story at that, having become completely fed up.

But Jeremiah reports that Svan, in discussions with Beaba about taking over distribution, got the issue cleaned up.  And Svan confirms that the Babycook is BPA-free.

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