Regulation of chemical in plastics probed

April 28, 2008

U.S. congressional Democrats said they are investigating the regulation of a potentially hazardous chemical compound used in baby bottles and other plastics.

The Food and Drug Administration said bisphenol A is safe to use in the production of plastics, even though more than 100 major studies found it may cause health problems.

Some scientists and critics argue the plastics industry has been swayed by government regulators to keep a potentially harmful product, commonly called BPA, on store shelves.

"If you fight the science, you're able to postpone regulation and victim compensation, as well. As in this case, eventually the science becomes overwhelming," David Michaels, former federal regulator for the Clinton administration, told The Washington Post.

The FDA reportedly contends it has not been influenced by the industry.

"The fact that industry generated data to support the safety I don't think is an unusual thing," said Mitchell Cheeseman, deputy director of the FDA's office of food additive safety.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

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