Bisphenol A (BPA) and the FDA among 2008’s Top 10 Hot Topics, says WebMD

January 13, 2009

The editors at WebMD have posted their list of top 10 health news stories from 2008. Salmonella in tomatoes was number one (even though it now appears that it wasn’t tomatoes and the tomato industry collapsed for no reason); the promise of healthcare reform placed second. Vitamin D was voted the hottest vitamin of 2008; and number five on the list was “Bisphenol A in Baby Bottles.” The chemical, bisphenol A (or BPA), is used in the polycarbonate plastic used in dental sealants, in water and baby bottles, and in food cans, and the debate around its use got the FDA, the National Toxicology Program, industry, and academicians involved. While the FDA is rethinking its safety review (with a target date of February 2009 to present this review), companies that include Wal-Mart and Toys-R-Us are backing away from baby bottles that contain BPA.
As discussed in recent issues of Pulse of Health Freedom, the FDA has ignored other government experts and sided with industry on BPA, a widespread chemical that another government agency has deemed potentially dangerous. The FDA’s report has put it as odds with the National Toxicology Program, which expressed its concern over the safety of BPA in a September report.
According to the December 15, 2008, issue of USA Today, the FDA sent a letter to independent scientific reviewers that indicated it is again evaluating its research on BPA and carrying out additional studies. According to the letter, “FDA is re-evaluating available data, and planning for the acquisition of additional data that will strengthen the exposure estimated from all dietary sources of BPA, with particular attention to dietary sources relevant to infants and children.” Note that this message ignores dental sources for children. The FDA has yet to mention it.
The FDA has been sent a petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council asking that BPA be removed from food and beverage containers. Additionally, NRDC believes that BPA is too toxic to be used at all in baby products. USA Today quoted a senior scientist with Consumers’ Union, Urvashi Rangan, as saying that while additional research would be useful, “The big, noteworthy part is what’s missing from this letter, which is the lack of any FDA action while it investigates serious health concerns.”
Three days later, the Environmental Health News reported that a committee assembled by the National Academy of Scientists concluded that nearly every American consumer is exposed to a mixture of chemicals that could potentially damage male reproductive health. The national panel of scientists advised EPA to shift its focus, and to group together chemicals—phthalates in particular, which are used to soften plastic—to better judge the danger posed by them. That is, we are exposed to numerous chemicals together, and evaluating the health effects of an exposure to those multiple chemicals is critical to understand how reproductive health may be affected by this toxin body burden.
Bisphenol A is but one reason that it’s time to reform the FDA—complete reform, a thorough overhaul of every part of the FDA. The purpose of ReformFDA.org (sponsored by AAHF and our allies) is to persuade the American public and Congress that a total reform of the FDA is absolutely necessary in order to rebuild the American healthcare system and once again make it the envy of the world.
Visit www.ReformFDA.org to sign the petition and learn more information.

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