Issue Date: August 25, 2008
FDA Calls BPA Safe
CURRENT LEVELS of exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) from canned food linings and polycarbonate plastic bottles are too low to cause health effects in humans, including infants, according to a draft assessment FDA released on Aug. 15. The report comes after months of debate over the use of the estrogenic chemical in food-contact products such as baby bottles and infant formula cans.
FDA previously deemed BPA safe in products that come in contact with food and beverages, but because of health concerns raised last spring by Health Canada and the National Toxicology Program, the agency agreed to revisit its position (C&EN, June 2, page 36).
Industry groups welcomed the news and applauded FDA for focusing on the science and not changing its stance. But environmental groups were quick to point out flaws in the agency's analysis.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit group that has been pushing for a ban on BPA in children's products for years, claimed that FDA ignored hundreds of studies that show toxic effects of BPA at low levels. FDA relied on outdated, industry-funded studies that "do not adequately address the impacts of early life exposure to the developing brain, behavior, and the reproductive system," EWG said in a written statement.
FDA plans to hold a public meeting to discuss its BPA draft assessment on Sept. 16.
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