Thank you SafeMama for broaching the subject of whether or not Similac SimplePac containers are BPA free. We’ve been talking with many parents who have the same burning question. We haven’t come away with a black and white answer either.
I swear we’re going to have to hire a P.I. to sneak around and get a glimpse of their materials list! You can tell from the email SafeMama received that Similac spent many hours sculpting a “we don’t want to tell you, so we’ll beat around the bush and pretend like we’re answering your question” response.
Here is what we know and what Similac is allowing us to know. The new SimplePac™ container and lid is made of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) which indicated to me that the plastic container itself is BPA Free. That much I know. Here is where it gets tricky. The representatives I spoke to, and I spoke to at least 3 because they kept transferring me when I pressed them for more information, will say this and only this:
“No portion of the container that comes in contact with the formula contains BPA.”
See the part I underlined? That’s what concerns me. They will not deviate from this scripted statement that I am sure their very expensive legal team created for them. After the second rep transferred me to Pam, the Customer Relations representative specialist or whatever, I pressed further because I am not satisfied unless they say “Yes Ma’am, rest assured the whole thing is BPA Free.”
I asked Pam about the foil seal that typically is present in formula containers to preserve the product on the shelf. I had no idea if this product even had one, but she confirmed it does. She would not however provide me with any information regarding the foil seal, what it was made of and whether or not the foil is coated with an epoxy resin. Many times those coatings do contain BPA. She told me:
“We don’t have any information about that, I’m sorry.” And refused to delve any further claiming ignorance and denying she had any information to give me on the matter. No information? That sounds weird considering the company most CERTAINLY knows what its made of and whats on or not on it. They don’t have any information they want parents to know is what it really means to me.
Aarrrgghhh! Just come out with it already.
This issue with Similac is just icing on the cake for us at The Soft Landing. Lately we’ve been barraged by companies with products they want us to introduce on our blog or carry in our store. The only problem is that they seem to be made from “proprietary medical grade materials.” Well what the heck does that mean? So, basically, we don’t get to know?
Maybe they don’t realize that our whole mission is to educate parents about the materials used in their children’s feeding/teething gear. While it’s encouraging that the products are free of BPA/PVC/Phthalates, that still leaves us wringing our hands, hoping that the toys our babies are chewing on all day aren’t made from 95% formaldehyde.
A simple “oh, don’t worry, you can trust us” just isn’t going to cut it. Parents are no longer willing to accept a sly used car salesman pitch like that. Wouldn’t it be great if companies like Similac woke up and realized that this is the information age?
Okay – stepping down off the soapbox
UPDATE 11/6/08: ZRecommends did their own bit of research and found that Similac is still using their “evasive maneuvers” to get around answering the question. We recommend you continue to avoid SimplePac.
P.S. If you’re in the hunt for detailed info on other infant formula brands, check out the list compiled by the Environmental Working Group.