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BPA Good For You? More Evidence The
FDA Is Governed By Corporate Profits


Call it a case of two steps forward, one step back. A newly released draft report on bisphenol-A (BPA) from the FDA, finds the chemical safe for human consumption.

Sometimes the public health politicking is so transparent that you can see straight through it to the truth waiting on the other side.

Several months ago, The National Toxicology Program (part of the National Institutes of Health) issued a report that warned Bisphenol-A could cause neural problems and behavioral problems in infants and children. That report contributed to a wave of concern that resulted in the following:

• Toys 'R Us removed plastic baby bottles from store shelves, resorting to BPA-free bottles.

• The BornFree company (www.NewBornFree.com) experienced a surge in sales of its BPA-free baby bottles.

• The Nalgene company completely abandoned the use of Bisphenol-A in its plastics, rolling out a BPA-free product line.

• Wal-Mart announced it would stop carrying many products containing Bisphenol-A.

• The State of California proposed legislation that would have banned food and beverage products containing Bisphenol-A. Under pressure from the chemical industry, however, that legislation failed to pass.

The FDA has a long and well-documented history of erring on the side of disaster. Rather than taking the default position that a possibly harmful chemical with unknown exposure levels should be restricted from the food supply until further research is done, the FDA does the opposite: It declares the chemical to be safe until evidence proves it to be dangerous. This is a reckless strategy that will only lead to disaster for the health of the population.

Well over 200 independent government and academic studies have reached a decidedly different conclusion -- namely that exposure to this endocrine-disrupting chemical can trigger all kinds of problems from cancer and reproductive disorders to hyperactivity and diabetes. And just two studies, both sponsored by the chemical industry, that say there's no problem with a little BPA in your baby formula or your soda pop. See if you can guess which research the FDA emphasized and which it largely ignored.

That's right. In fact, the new FDA draft report is so utterly naked in its bias and so breathtakingly brazen in its complete disregard for both public health and the agency's mission to protect it that even long-time critics are stunned speechless by its so-called "findings." This is a gift to the chemical industry that the FDA didn't even bother to wrap.

Predictably, that industry is applauding the report as a model of scientific prudence and regulatory reason. Environmentalists, on the other hand, are justifiably outraged as should be anyone who cares more about human health than manufacturer profits. The good news is that this is a draft version of the report, a work-in-progress released to the public in order to gather comments prior to any revisions that will result in a final document and the official U.S. government view on the subject.

So what do you say? Let's comment. Send yours to:

Carlos Pena
Office of Science and Health Coordination, Office of the Commissioner
The Food and Drug Administration
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 14B-08
Rockville, MD 20857

or by e-mail to carlos.pena@fda.hhs.gov

(Make sure to mention that you are submitting comments on the Draft Assessment Of Bisphenol A for Use In Food Contact Applications in response to Food and Drug Administration Docket No. FDA-2008-N-0038: A notice of meeting for the Bisphenol A Subcommittee of the Science Board to the Food and Drug Administration.)

  • More articles on BPA


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