Archive for Saturday, August 16, 2008

FDA declares chemical in plastic baby bottles safe

August 16, 2008


— Despite ongoing safety concerns from parents, consumer groups and politicians, a chemical used in baby bottles, canned food and other items is not dangerous, federal regulators said Friday.

Food and Drug Administration scientists said the trace amounts of bisphenol A that leach out of food containers are not a threat to infants or adults. The agency acknowledged that more research is needed to fully understand the chemical's effects on humans, and noted "there are always uncertainties associated with safety decisions."

The FDA previously declared the chemical safe, but agreed to revisit that opinion after a report by the federal National Toxicology Program said there was "some concern" about its risks to infants.

The plastic-hardening chemical, similar to the hormone estrogen, is used to seal canned food and make shatterproof bottles. It is used in hundreds of household items, from sunglasses to CDs.

The FDA's draft report was greeted with enthusiasm by the American Chemistry Council, which has defended the chemical's safety.

"FDA is the government agency we rely upon to assess food-contact products. They've assessed this issue in great detail and their conclusion is very reassuring," said Steve Hentges, an executive director with the council.

But environmental groups were quick to criticize the agency's conclusions, which they said relied on industry-funded studies.

"It's ironic FDA would choose to ignore dozens of studies funded by (the National Institutes of Health) - this country's best scientists - and instead rely on flawed studies from industry," said Pete Myers, chief scientist for Environmental Health Sciences.

Myers said the agency disregarded recent studies of bisphenol's effects included in the National Toxicology Program's April draft report.

That group's review of animal studies suggested low doses of bisphenol can cause changes in behavior and the brain, and that it may reduce survival and birth weight in fetuses. A final version of the group's findings is expected next month.

Commenting on those studies in its 105-page assessment, the FDA said they had "inconsistencies and inadequacies which limit the interpretations of the findings."


ConcernedCitizenInTexas 9 years, 8 months ago

Dear Matthew PerroneRE: Rhetorical Questions 1.Is it not interesting to note that 80% of academically and government-funded research found that bisphenol-A is harmful in laboratory animals; yet most of the industry-funded studies found there was no harm? 2.Is the "FDA Public Meeting" on 9-16-08 the FDA's response to the Senate's request for additional information to be brought back to Senator Mark Pryor's sub-committee on Consumer Affairs; specifically, the C-SPAN televised "Health Impact of Plastic Additives in Consumer Products" hearings? 3.Is the FDA going to directly respond to the questions raised by Senator Kerry regarding the hundreds of other harmful chemicals leaching estrogenic activity from plastics, not just BPA?4.Is it industries' litigation strategy to use the FDA pronouncements, which the Industry financed and provided (the "funding effect"), to defend against the onslaught of class action law suits beginning to be filed (CA)?5.Are the current CEO's, Board of Directors, and Professional Advisors (CPA's, JD's, etc) fulfilling their corporate and legal responsibilities of "duty and care" to their stockholders?6.Are the CEO's and financial planning departments for Industry "running the numbers" to show shareholders and the Audit Committee of the Board that a "one time change" eliminating all chemicals leaching estrogenic activity (EA) is in each company's long term financial "best interest" for reasons ranging from better public health and goodwill to reducing costs and litigation exposure by one time plant conversions?

Commenting has been disabled for this item.