Wednesday, April 30, 2008

BPA Updates

In the last several weeks there have been many things happening with bisphenol-A. Last week Canada declared BPA a toxic chemical; many retailers took action and removed products from their shelves and now Canada is proposing a ban on BPA. Babies R Us has announced that they will be BPA and Phthalate free by the end of 2008. Even Nalgene has recently announced that they are going to discountinue the use of Polycarbonate in their water bottles and according to a USA Today article, the FDA is reconsidering the safety of BPA.
  • "The FDA isn't recommending people stop using BPA, says Laura Tarantino, director of the FDA's Office of Food Additive Safety. But the agency will take another look at the safety of baby bottles, formula cans and other products made with BPA, which has been shown to leach into food. Depending on their findings, she says, the agency could require changes in the way these products are made or the amount of BPA that's allowed to be used."

Rep. John Dingell and Rep. Bart Stupak both democrats of Michigan and leaders of the energy and commerce committee are investigating the FDA's handling of BPA and are calling for a safety check as a result of recent reports expressing "some concern" about the effects of BPA .

  • "Scientists don't have much evidence about how BPA affects people. But environmental organizations such as the Environmental Working Group note that 100 studies have found harmful effects in animals at very low levels. Many researchers are concerned that BPA, which acts like the female hormone estrogen, causes profound effects on animals in low doses, especially during pregnancy and infancy. Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found BPA in 95% of Americans tested."

Dingell and Stupak expressed concern that the FDA is basing the alleged safety of BPA on two industry funded studies. Both reports were done by the American Plastics Council and one of the reports has not even been released to the public.

  • "This raises serious concerns about whether the science FDA relied on to approve the use of bisphenol A was bought and paid for by industry." Dingell.

Further more, according to the USA Today article, the American Chemistry Council, which is also an industry group states that, the FDA should clear up the fear and confusion about BPA, which it says has been safely used for decades. A new FDA statement, the council says, will "help explain the extensive scientific review that has already been conducted." Seems like the American Chemistry Council thinks that they have this one in "the bag" or should be say in the bottle.

Senators Charles Schumer and Diane Feinstein introduced a bill yesterday that would ban bisphenol-A in all children's products. Seems like our government is finally catching up with our neighbors to the north.

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