More Nonsense from the FDA

"FDA: Baby Bottles With Bisphenol A Are Safe" is the headline of a piece sent to me this week.  I feel so much better already.

Can anyone read this article with a straight face?  C’mon – we’ve already established that both the EPA and FDA have conflicts of interest and cannot be trusted to protect the public health interests of children.  I’m tempted to ignore this latest article, but the problem is that many parents will just look at the headline and say, "OK – guess we’re fine to use BPA products again."  No!  We should continue to create demand for BPA-free infant and child products.  As Ted Schettler asks rhetorically, "’Do we wait for irrefutable proof of harm in people before taking action?”  We can only hope the with the next Administration we will witness the return of truly scientifically-based public health policy.

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FDA: Baby Bottles With Bisphenol A Are Safe

By Kevin Freking, Associated Press Writer
Manufacturing.Net – June 11, 2008

WASHINGTON
(AP) — Plastic baby bottles and water bottles are safe, a federal
health official said Tuesday, seeking to ease public concerns about the
health hazards of a chemical used in the products.

The National
Toxicology Program said in a recent draft report that there is ”some
concern” that bisphenol A can cause changes in behavior and the brain,
as well as reduce survival and birthweight in fetuses. It drew its
conclusions from animal studies.

Canada has announced its
intention to ban the use of the chemical in baby bottles, and U.S.
lawmakers have introduced legislation to ban bisphenol A in children’s
products.

Small amounts of bisphenol A can be released as
plastics break down. Dr. Norris Alderson, the Food and Drug
Administration’s associate commissioner for science, said, however,
that the level of exposure was safe. Some studies had reported higher
release levels than projected by the agency, but many of those studies
were conducted under unrealistic conditions, he said.

”Although
our review is ongoing, there’s no reason to recommend consumers stop
using products with (bisphenol A),” Alderson told a House subcommittee.

Bisphenol
A also is used in many other products, from helmets to compact discs to
goggles. Any ban of the chemical could result in less effective
protection for children who wear the protective gear, said Dr. Michael
Babich of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. About 99 percent
of human exposure to the chemical comes from diet.

Dr. Ted
Schettler, director of the Science and Environmental Health Network,
took a more cautionary view. He told lawmakers that animal testing
showed low-level bisphenol A exposures during fetal development can
alter development of the prostate gland and breast. These changes could
increase the risk of cancer, he said.

”Do we wait for irrefutable proof of harm in people before taking action?” he asked.

The
House Energy and Commerce subcommittee also is reviewing the safety of
phthalates, which is used to make vinyl soft and flexible. Phthalates
are used in medical devices, cars and toys.

Dr. Earl Gray, a
toxicologist at the Environmental Protection Agency, said he had
serious concerns about the potential effects in children who are
exposed to phthalates from IV tubes. He said that although the level of
exposure for most people is low, there can be exceptions. In rats,
phthalates have been shown to cause liver cancer and reproductive tract
malformations in offspring.

Bills filed in Congress would prohibit the manufacture and sale of certain children’s products that contain phthalates.

Comments

  1. “Dr. Michael Babich of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission…” Aren’t these the same folks that let all those lead contaminated toys fall through the cracks? Why should we trust them as well as the FDA?

  2. Yes – absolutely. More on the lead fiasco here: http://www.thewholechild.us/integrative_/2007/12/taking-the-lead.html

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