FDA criticized over BPA issue

As many of you know, the FDA once again met yesterday to review the safety of BPA and once again declared it safe for humans. This comes with praise from the plastics industry and the grocery manufacturers association (of course), but is drawing criticism from independent organizations including the Environmental Working Group.

Here is an excerpt:
“It is very clear that that the FDA cannot conclude with certainly that BPA is safe. That option is no longer open to you given these new data,” said John Peterson Myers, CEO and chief scientist at the group Environmental Health Sciences.

Some researchers criticized the FDA for concluding that ordinary BPA exposure is safe for infants, who may consume it daily if they are drinking formula from a plastic bottle.

Frederick vom Saal, a toxicologist at the University of Missouri-Columbia, told an FDA advisory panel that the ability of infants to metabolize BPA has not been well studied.

“Any talk about what is going on in a newborn baby is just based on a guess, an assumption,” he said. “This is a black hole of information.”

FDA officials said they have begun discussion with other scientific agencies, including the CDC, to continue studying potential health effects of the chemical. Members of the advisory panel declined comment following the hearing.

“We’re just beginning,” said Laura Tarantino, director of FDA’s office of food additive safety. “The agency has made a commitment to look at this, and we’re going to look at it carefully,” she told reporters.

“We have not recommended that anyone change their habits or change their use of these products,” Tarantino said.

They keep looking and looking – what are they looking for?? Someone to save their butt? They were presented with 5 independent studies, most where the levels of BPA were much less than what the FDA considers “safe,” and these 5 studies all point to health issues including brain alterations and abnormal prostate growth. Let me repeat – these BPA levels were less than what the FDA considers safe.

Wal-Mart, Toys R Us, Babies R Us and likely other retailers are phasing out products made with BPA. Canada has banned BPA in baby products and Playtex and Nalgene are phasing BPA out of all their products. Popular baby bottle manufacturers for Dr. Brown’s (glass and polypropylene versions) and Avent (made of PES material) have released BPA-free versions of their polycarbonate, BPA-containing bottles.

The FDA really needs to just save face and at minimum not say BPA is safe. The National Toxicology folks, another government agency which is like a sister to the FDA, has concluded there is “some concern” over the safety of BPA. If the FDA would just admit that, I’d be spitting happy. But no, they obviously are well-funded by the plastic’s industry (at least from my POV), so their interests lay elsewhere and not with concern for public health and safety.

Source: WedMD release

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