TORONTO – There is a “compelling case” for Ontario to become the first province in Canada to ban a potentially harmful chemical found in common plastic baby products and linked to adulthood cancer, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Tuesday after meeting with experts and parents pushing for a ban of bisphenol A.

The governing Liberals are going to appoint a panel of medical experts to study toxins like bisphenol A – found in everything from baby bottles and sippy cups to the lining of food cans – with a view to introducing legislation next year, McGuinty said.

If that panel of doctors and scientists recommends a ban, McGuinty said it will be done.

“I just had the opportunity to speak to an expert up from Virginia who makes a very compelling case,” McGuinty said after a private meeting with about a dozen parents and environmentalists.

“So what we’ll do is we’re going to ask our Ontario experts to give us their best advice on that. If their advice to us to ban, then we will ban . . . There is no reason that we can’t be a North American leader when it comes to reducing toxins and carcinogens.”

San Francisco is the only jurisdiction in North America that has banned the sale, distribution and manufacture of baby products made with bisphenol A. Health Canada is currently studying the risk posed by bisphenol A and expects to report back to the federal government by May.

But Ontario can’t afford to wait, McGuinty said.

“Why is it that, at the beginning of the 21st century, one in four Ontarians are now dying of cancer?” he asked.

“We need to do a better job of understanding the influence of these chemicals, toxins and carcinogens in our environment and (on) our quality of life.”

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