04/10/2012 05:02:00 PM EST
FDA Rejects Ban on BPA (Bisphenol A) from Food Packaging
Prior posts have noted the numerous studies involving various animals that have indicated the potential estrongenic effects from exposure to BPA. Prior posts have also noted that the primary vector of exposure is cash register receipts.
In 2008, the NRDC petitioned FDA to remove BPA from food packaging. Because FDA did not respond, in 2010 NRDC sued. The most recent decision (more on that below) stems from the lawsuit.
NRDC has reported that FDA has denied its petition within the last week or so. On March 30, 2012, the FDA posted its response to the petition. See http://www.fda.gov/food/foodingredientspackaging/ucm166145.htm#overview. There have also been various leaks about what types of studies were done and the results, but those studies are not yet available for review. The FDA has stated that the results of the studies show the following:
The level of BPA from food that could be passed from pregnant mothers to the fetus is so low that it could not be measured. Researchers fed pregnant rodents 100 to 1,000 times more BPA than people are exposed to through food, and could not detect the active form of BPA in the fetus eight hours after the mother's exposure.
Exposure to BPA in human infants is from 84 to 92 percent less than previously estimated.
The FDA has noted that it generally believes that the current "low levels" of human exposure to BPA are safe. FDA has said it currently supports voluntary industry actions to stop producing BPA-containing baby bottles and minimize the presence of the plasticizer in food can linings, steps noted in prior posts.
News reports on the decision can be found at http://articles.nydailynews.com/2012-03-30/news/31263030_1_bpa-makers-of-baby-bottles-canned-food; http://articles.latimes.com/2012/mar/30/nation/la-na-bpa-fda-20120331; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michele-simon/bpa-ban_b_1403343.html; and, BPA Will Stay in Food Packaging and Cans for Now Says FDA.
One problem with all such single-substance analysis is that they do not take into account synergistic and antagonistic effects that can arise from multple substances having like effects (e.g., estrongen mimics).
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