Panel Says FDA Ignored BPA Dangers



A panel that is part of the Scientific Board, and a committee of advisors to the Food and Drug Administration, will release a report today critical of the FDA’s draft risk assessment of bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is a chemical widely used in such things as hard plastics, baby bottles and the lining of canned food. It has been linked to prostate cancer, diabetes and other health problems in animals. There is also concern that BPA may affect behavioral and brain development in infants and young children.

After taking into consideration literally dozens of studies linking the chemical to health hazards, the report concludes the FDA ignored scientific evidence, used flawed methods, and called the FDA’s margin of safety “inadequate.” The FDA has accepted some of the criticism and agrees additional research into the chemical “would be valuable.” The American Chemistry Council, which represents manufacturers of BPA, has said it will comply with the FDA’s decision – whatever that may be.

There is a debate currently brewing about whether to ban BPA completely. Sarah Janssen, a reproductive biologist with the environmental advocacy group Natural Resources Defense Council believes the current levels we are exposed to are not safe. “We should get rid of it in food containers,” she says.

Many retailers have already begun selling BPA-free baby bottles, and Canada banned its use in baby bottles outright earlier this month. This is also likely to harden the focus on the FDA’s use of industry-funded studies, such as those from Dow Chemical and Charles Gelman, a vocal supporter of BPA.