I intended to answer the burning question “Does the new Similac packaging contain BPA?” in Dear SafeMama yesterday. But after I spoke with Similac®, I decided it warranted it’s own post because frankly, I am getting tired of trying to decipher their carefully orchestrated responses.
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.
The main problem I have with their statement is that I don’t know what “comes in contact with the formula” means if they are being so strict in what they tell consumers. Does it mean “only if you don’t turn it upside down so the formula doesn’t rest on the foil seal” count too? Their resistance to disclose the materials on the foil seal makes me wonder.
Pam informed me that I should encourage our readers to call Similac if they have any questions. Do go ahead and do that SafeParents. Similac has a toll free number 1-800-232-7677 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., CST/CDT. They would rather tell you, the ignorant consumer who doesn’t understand what HDPE is, themselves and bank on the fact that no one will ask the questions we really want answers to.
Bottom Line: To answer the original question “Is the new Similac SimplePac packaging BPA free?” The answer for now is “Maybe.” Or in Similac’s words “the part that comes in contact with the formula” is.