From the executive summary of an FDA report on Bisphenol A (BPA):
Coupling together the available qualitative and quantitative information (including application of uncertainty factors) provides a sufficient scientific basis to conclude that the Margins of Safety defined by FDA as “adequate” are, in fact, inadequate.
The FDA has gone from their April 14, 2008 view of BPA levels are too low to cause any health effects
Based on our ongoing review, we believe there is a large body of evidence that indicates that FDA-regulated products containing BPA currently on the market are safe and that exposure levels to BPA from food contact materials, including for infants and children, are below those that may cause health effects.
to their new and, depending on your point of view, improved October 28, 2008 statement that BPA won’t hurt you right away.
Consumers should know that, based on all available evidence, the present consensus among regulatory agencies in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan is that current levels of exposure to BPA through food packaging do not pose an immediate health risk to the general population, including infants and babies.
Apparently the FDA based their original BPA is safe view based on three studies industry funded studies and just ignored those Henny-Penny-The-Sky-Is-Falling independent reports. Thanks for doing your job and looking out for us little guys FDA! But don’t worry, they aren’t swayed by money, big business, lobbyists…
NIH reaffirms BPA concerns
08 September 2008
The ACC (American Chemistry Council) has launched a major campaign to defend BPA, including one effort that helped killed a California state bill aiming to ban all but trace amounts of BPA from the food and beverage containers of babies and young children.
The trade association publicly suggested that any ban on BPA would threaten food safety and increase grocery costs. On 29 August, the California State Assembly rejected the bill by a 35-30 vote. Fifteen of the state legislators were absent or didn’t vote.
‘California’s legislators made the right decision for their consumers,’ said ACC’s Steven Hentges. ‘Products targeted by this bill have been affirmed to be safe by government bodies around the world based on the science, most recently by the FDA’.
There was some criticism, however, of industry efforts to defeat the bill. ‘It is a very powerful lobby,’ says Scott Belcher, a University of Cincinnati pharmacologist. ‘With the worldwide production capacity at over 6.4 billion pounds per year, BPA is an important chemical and an important money maker.’ The US chemical industry produces roughly 2.3 billion pounds of BPA annually, and the chemical’s global market is estimated at $6 billion
Whatever kickbacks were being passed around must have stopped or no longer covered the cost of gas for FDA scientists to drive to work, or maybe the severely underfunded agency is finally able to properly address BPA.
FDA ignored evidence when calling BPA safe
Updated 10/29/2008 11:55 PM
By Liz Szabo, USA TODAY
The scientists took the FDA to task for basing its safety decision in August on three industry-funded studies. Another government agency, the National Toxicology Program, decided many other independent studies deserved consideration. The toxicology program concluded last month there is “some concern” that BPA alters development of the brain, prostate and behavior in children and fetuses.
The expert panel also found the FDA underestimated how much BPA babies ingest on several counts. For one, the agency failed to consider the cumulative effect of being exposed to BPA from dozens of products, a fundamental error that “severely limits the usefulness” of the FDA’s safety estimate.
An advocacy group, the Natural Resources Defense Council, believes BPA is too toxic to use in baby products at all. The group formally has asked the FDA to remove BPA from food and beverage containers.
This report from Chemistry World talks about the effects of BPA:
BPA linked to heart disease and diabetes
16 September 2008
Animal studies have long suggested that low-level chronic exposure to BPA can lead to reproductive and developmental problems, such as breast and prostate cancers, as well as the early onset of puberty. A report from the National Institutes of Health found ‘some concern’ about the effects of BPA on foetuses and children. But the FDA says it has not been proven that typical human exposures pose a safety risk. And in July the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that the chemical appears safe at current dosages since humans metabolise and eliminate it more rapidly than do the rats used in scientific research.
Although it is complicated to work out a ‘safe’ level of BPA exposure, Galloway says her paper raises doubt about whether the current guidelines set by US and European governments are adequately protective. ‘We are seeing the effect of concentrations lower than the level currently recommended by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),’ she told Chemistry World. The EPA’s safety limit is 50 micrograms/kg bodyweight per day, which is also the tolerable daily intake according to the EFSA.
When will we get results?
FDA criticised by its own experts over bisphenol A
04 November 2008
The FDA is unlikely to resolve the BPA safety issue quickly. The agency doesn’t have to officially respond to the Science Board report until February, by which time a new president will occupy the White House and a new Congress will be installed. The agency says its reply could include anything from a call for specific research proposals to the implementation of some type of BPA ban.
Consumer tips to avoid BPA exposure from the Environmental Working Group.
I’ve seen a lot of chatter about BPA in baby formula and found this information through the Environmental Working Group stating that powdered formula does not appear to contain BPA even if the can may be lined with BPA.
BPA does not appear to leach into powdered formula. The Canadian government recently published testing results showing no BPA in any of 56 powdered formulas sampled, and the tests include the same companies that make the formula sold in the United States (Cao 2008). Previously little was known about BPA in powdered formula. Three of the 4 major formula companies had told EWG that they used BPA in powdered formula containers or gave us conflicting answers. FDA recently analyzed 2 types of powdered formula containers and concluded that there was no BPA epoxy lining the metal portions of cans.
More on safer products for feeding your baby from the Environmental Working Group:
EWG’s Guide to Infant Formula and Baby Bottles: Guide to Baby-Safe Bottles & Formula