BPA and the FDA | Seventh Generation
Skip to Content
  • Pin It

BPA and the FDA

9 comments
Author: the Inkslinger

Baby Bottle BPACall it a case of two steps forward, one step back. I recently wrote about terrific new federal legislation that will ban and/or restrict a host of toxic phthalates in children's toys. And we also just learned that Monsanto is bailing on its misguided bovine growth hormone business. These are both very positive developments but this week has begun with a bit of a setback in the long walk to a healthier world: A newly released draft report on bisphenol-A (BPA) from the FDA, which finds the chemical safe for human consumption.

Sometimes the public health politicking is so transparent that you can see straight through it to the truth waiting on the other side.

I say this because well over 200 independent government and academic studies have reached a decidedly different conclusion -- namely that exposure to this endocrine-disrupting chemical can trigger all kinds of problems from cancer and reproductive disorders to hyperactivity and diabetes. And just two (count 'em, two) studies, both sponsored by the chemical industry, that say there's no problem with a little BPA in your baby formula or your soda pop. See if you can guess which research the FDA emphasized and which it largely ignored.

That's right. In fact, the new FDA draft report is so utterly naked in its bias and so breathtakingly brazen in its complete disregard for both public health and the agency's mission to protect it that even I, a longtime, oft-jaded observer of the regulatory scene, have been stunned speechless by its so-called "findings." This is a gift to the chemical industry that the FDA didn't even bother to wrap.

Predictably, that industry is applauding the report as a model of scientific prudence and regulatory reason. Environmentalists, on the other hand, are justifiably outraged as should be anyone who cares more about human health than manufacturer profits. The good news is that this is a draft version of the report, a work-in-progress released to the public in order to gather comments prior to any revisions that will result in a final document and the official U.S. government view on the subject.

So what do you say? Let's comment. Send yours to:

Carlos Pena
Office of Science and Health Coordination, Office of the Commissioner
The Food and Drug Administration
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 14B-08
Rockville, MD 20857

or by e-mail to carlos.pena@fda.hhs.gov

(Make sure to mention that you are submitting comments on the Draft Assessment Of Bisphenol A for Use In Food Contact Applications in response to Food and Drug Administration Docket No. FDA-2008-N-0038: A notice of meeting for the Bisphenol A Subcommittee of the Science Board to the Food and Drug Administration.)

photo: Jackknife Barlow

9
Comments

XNoelleX picture
XNoelleX
09/03/08
I am wondering if anyone knows all the sources of BPA's? So far, I know number 7 plastic, melamine, any hard clear plastic that does not say what number it is, the lining inside canned foods, are there any more I should worry about? I try to buy only fresh food, or in glass jars, but I don't feel I am doing enough. Any suggestions anyone? *Most people have no idea what BPA's are. I even went up to the managers at Trader Joes( who are generally more "green" and knowledgable) and they didn't know what I was talking about when I complained that their kid sized apple sauce cups were made of #7 plastic.. They looked at me like I was an alien.. Whenever I have a chance, I tell people about it. The drug companies definitely have leverage, partly because people are uninformed.
sueh picture
sueh
09/03/08
I am submitting comments on the Draft Assessment Of Bisphenol A for Use In Food Contact Applications in response to Food and Drug Administration Docket No. FDA-2008-N-0038: A notice of meeting for the Bisphenol A Subcommittee of the Science Board to the Food and Drug Administration. As you probably know, the general public, my self included, is losing faith in the Food and Drug Administration. It is a shame that we put our faith in you as taxpayers in order to protect us and our health, only to assume that you only protect Corporate America. I realize that the FDA does not do a lot of their own studies on the Food and Drugs that are consumed by the American Public and that they are essentially paid for by the products manufacturer. This is a major conflict of interest and unbiased third party testing should be done. The American public should not be the testing ground for these products. I am sorry to tell you that The American Public is Educating Themselves and we want change! I have paraphrased another person, because I feel that their words were most appropriate to my thoughts. Please consider that you are paid by the citizens of the USA to protect and honor us. This is neither protection or honor, it is disgraceful and disrespectable………………and it appears all in the name of lobbying efforts and dollars, that don’t come from the consumer/citizen’s pocket. I am ashamed of this specific decision.
gemini picture
gemini
08/28/08
Mr. Pena, As you probably know, the general public, my self included, is losing faith in the Food and Drug Administration. It is a shame that we put our faith in you as taxpayers in order to protect us and our health, only to assume that you only protect Corporate America. I realize that the FDA does not do a lot of their own studies on the Food and Drugs that are consumed by the American Public and that they are essentially paid for by the products manufacturer. This is a major conflict of interest and unbiased third party testing should be done. The American public should not be the testing ground for these products. I am sorry to tell you that The American Public are Educating Themselves and we want change!
ainacio picture
ainacio
08/27/08
I am respectfully curious, do you allow your children to use plastics you know contain BPA? Thanks . . . .
Debbie2008 picture
Debbie2008
08/27/08
Hey "justquesitons," didja ever consider that "the Inkslinger" doesn't believe our government has a great track record when it comes to telling the truth? Nor siding with the consumer, for that matter? The FDA this past year has been called unto the carpet several times for approving drugs, which have subsequently been recalled due significant harmful side-effects. Consider the fact that under the Bush Administration, our government's scientists' reports are routinely censored to the extent that many have left their jobs in protest. For more information in this area, check out the Union of Concerned Scientists website: www.ucsusa.org. Anyway, for good or bad, consumers' perceptions trump any scientific reports. So, the FDA has some work to do to regain trust of the people.
Debbie2008 picture
Debbie2008
08/27/08
If BPA is so safe, why is Canada considering labeling this chemical TOXIC?
justquesitons picture
justquesitons
08/27/08
I am a father to two children and , yes, I just read the report. Both the two comments above clearly show that neither of these people know what they are talking about and are just reacting on a emotional level. I am a physicist and an inventor, but admittedly have a hard time understanding all the information in the report. From reading the report I do think it is quite extensive and sites numerous studies both foreign and independent is it's findings. The FDA 99.9% of the time does not do the testing themselves, but seek independent studies of all types to include in it's final reports, which are overseen by government, independent researchers and concerned citizens. This report is also a draft and the FDA is seeking additional scientific information, not emotional responses, before the board reaches any conclusions. So those of you who are capable of providing informed scientific data to the FDA please do so. I wonder if "the Inkslinger" read the report and can understand it from the standpoint of it's scientific scope. OR is the "the Inkslinger" just reacting on a emotional level?
quidditch1979 picture
quidditch1979
08/27/08
I am a mother of two small children, one is 2 3/4 years old and one is 3 months old. They both were/are breastfeed thankfully, they were never given possibly tainted formula. On the other hand there are mother's who give there babies formula and I feel sorry for them because they are slowly essentially poisoning there children because the FDA does a VERY POOR job regulating and making sure it is safe for them. However, my eldest drinks from "sippy" cups still. It is a shame that I have to hunt and spend extra money to make sure that her drinking cups are safe for her to use, it should be a automatic given. I have read all the information and effects about BPA and I am astounded that the FDA would even fathom or consider siding with the chemical industry. It is a crying shame that politics take presidents over public safety and the future of our children! How do you people sleep at night knowing the truth about these chemicals and not preventing them from being used, seriously? This country is in a sad state when money, politics and stock holders are considered before innocent lives and our future as human beings!!!
amandamoore picture
amandamoore
08/27/08
I am outraged at the JOB the FDA is doing. The FDA is a disgrace and a joke. As a young mother, I have learned that I cannot trust the FDA on anything. And yet, as a taxpayer, I am paying for their so called research that my three year old could have done. They need to take a look at foreign countries careful exploration of chemicals and step up to the plate. Test these chemicals the right way...extensively and without bias on the part of the chemical companies. And when in doubt, err on the side of caution!