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: Pack a travel first-aid kit for the holidays

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

Pregnant woman taken off life support in Ireland

Dec 26, 2014

A brain-dead pregnant woman was taken off life support Friday after a court ruled that her 18-week-old fetus was doomed to die—a case that exposed fear and confusion among doctors over how to apply Ireland's ...

'Tis the season to overeat

Dec 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—Overeating is common during the holidays, but there are strategies that can help you eat in moderation, an expert says.

Don't let burns mar your holidays

Dec 25, 2014

(HealthDay)—The risk of burns from fires and cooking accidents increases during the holidays, so you need to be extra cautious, an expert says.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.