FDA: BPA affects children; exposure should be limited

Jan 17, 2010 By Meg Kissinger

After earlier statements that declared bisphenol A safe for all uses, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday that BPA affects human development and said it is working to take the chemical out of infant formula cans and baby bottles.

The agency is also working to require BPA manufacturers to report how much of the chemical they are producing and where it is being used so that it can more easily regulate the chemical.

Friday's action follows three years of investigative reports by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel into the government's failure to limit the chemical's exposure, despite hundreds of studies that found BPA to cause harm.

In a news conference Friday, the agency announced these steps to reduce human exposure to BPA in the .

The steps, posted on the FDA Web site, include:

• Supporting the industry's actions to stop producing BPA-containing baby bottles and infant feeding cups for the U.S. market;

• Facilitating the development of alternatives to BPA for the linings of infant formula cans; and

• Supporting efforts to replace BPA or minimize BPA levels in other food can linings.

"The FDA is supporting a shift to a more robust regulatory framework for oversight of BPA," FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg announced.

More than 6 billion pounds of the chemical are manufactured each year, accounting for nearly $7 billion in sales. The chemical is used to line nearly all food and beverage cans. It is used to make hard, clear plastic for , tableware, eyeglasses, dental sealants, DVDs and hundreds of other household objects.

The chemical, which leaches into food and drink when it is heated, has been linked to prostate and breast cancer, reproductive failure, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and behavioral problems.

BPA manufacturers, however, have maintained it is safe.

Indeed, the FDA ruled in 2008 that the chemical was safe for all uses _ a decision based on two studies, both paid for by makers.

The Journal Sentinel found that lobbyists for the chemical industry wrote entire sections of that decision. E-mails obtained by the newspaper found that the relied on chemical industry lobbyists to examine the chemical's risks, track legislation to ban it and even monitor press coverage.

Linda Birnbaum, who now heads the National Toxicology Program, told the Journal Sentinel in December that people should avoid ingesting the chemical _ especially pregnant women, infants and children.

"There are plenty of reasonable alternatives," she said.

Explore further: US judge overturns state's abortion law (Update)

5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Canada to ban BPA baby bottles

Apr 18, 2008

Canada became the first country to declare the widely used chemical bisphenol A unsuitable for use in baby bottles and set a ban mechanism in motion Friday.

Better science, please

May 21, 2009

Just when you thought that the industry that made money on bisphenol A could not have been any cozier with the federal agency regulating the chemical comes another revelation. Cozy? How about joined at the hip?

Consumer advocates find BPA in food packaging

Nov 03, 2009

A consumer advocacy group's analysis of canned goods has found measurable levels of the chemical additive bisphenol A across a range of foods, including some labeled "BPA-free."

Recommended for you

US judge overturns state's abortion law (Update)

11 hours ago

A federal judge on Wednesday overturned a North Dakota law banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy and before many women know they're pregnant.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Down's chromosome cause genome-wide disruption

The extra copy of Chromosome 21 that causes Down's syndrome throws a spanner into the workings of all the other chromosomes as well, said a study published Wednesday that surprised its authors.

Simplicity is key to co-operative robots

A way of making hundreds—or even thousands—of tiny robots cluster to carry out tasks without using any memory or processing power has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Progress in the fight against quantum dissipation

(Phys.org) —Scientists at Yale have confirmed a 50-year-old, previously untested theoretical prediction in physics and improved the energy storage time of a quantum switch by several orders of magnitude. ...