Exposure to BPA: FDA Reconsiders Dangers of Bisphenol-A in Plastic Baby Bottles, Food Contain
After its advisory board accused the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of failing to adequately consider the available research about the dangers of bisphenol-A (BPA), which is found in many plastic baby bottles, metal can linings and plastic food containers, the FDA has now agreed to reconsider the issue. The agency’s draft risk assessment found that the chemical is safe as it is now used; but this finding stood out against the majority of recent scientific opinion.
The National Toxicology Program—part of the Department of Health and Human Services—has stated that there is reason to be concerned that BPA could harm the brain, prostate gland and behavior in fetuses, infants, and children. Canada has recently added the chemical to its list of toxic substances and has also said it will ban BPA from polycarbonate baby bottles.
A recently published study in the Journal of the American Medical Association has found that adults with high levels of BPA in their urine are more prone to heart and liver disease, as well as to diabetes. More than 200 animal studies link ingesting minute amounts of the substance to various reproductive problems, immune deficiencies, brain damage, metabolic abnormalities, learning deficits, behavioral oddities like hyperactivity and reduced maternal nursing and bonding.
It has also been reported that the FDA’s position, which states that current human exposure to BPA through food-packaging materials provides a reasonable margin of safety, appeared to have been based on two large, multigenerational studies by research groups that have received funding from the American Plastics Council. The FDA has reviewed other studies; however, only the two multigenerational studies met its guidelines for determining proper safety for human consumption, states Dr. Mitchell Chesseman, Office of Food Additive Safety Director. Dr Cheeseman continues:
“I don’t want to suggest that other published studies are not valuable to FDA’s safety assessment, but they lack details about how the study was done and they don’t include all the necessary raw data. Therefore, independent auditing cannot be completed by FDA scientists and there are a variety of protocol limitations.”
Another physician and senior scientist at the EWG, Anila Jacob, observes:
“This was an example of the FDA finally acknowledging that its assertion that BPA is safe may be incorrect. However, we don’t think it is enough. Millions of babies are exposed to this chemical on a daily basis, which means that every day we delay removing this chemical from baby products is another day millions of infants are exposed.”
The FDA’s science board subcommittee on BPA, after reviewing comments from an independent advisory panel, has determined that the agency was wrong to not pay attention to the large body of research that shows health effects even at very low doses. The FDA’s decision to reconsider was made public in December of 2007. If you believe that a family member may have sustained injury due to exposure to BPA, please contact the legal professionals at the Cartwright Law Firm.