Sunday, August 17, 2008
The New York Times reports that the FDA has concluded that the trace amounts of bisphenol A found in food containers are not a threat to infants or adults. The New York Times writes,
Despite safety concerns of parents, consumer groups and politicians, a chemical used in baby bottles, canned food and other items is not dangerous, federal regulators said Friday.
Scientists at the Food and Drug Administration said the trace amounts of bisphenol A that leach out of food containers were not a threat to infants or adults. The plastic-hardening chemical is used to seal canned food and make shatterproof bottles.
The agency’s draft report is the latest in a growing pile of assessments of bisphenol, which has been used to package food for decades.
The agency previously declared the chemical safe, but agreed to revisit that opinion after a report by the federal National Toxicology Program said that there was “some concern” about its risks in infants.
Based on a review of animal studies, the government working group said bisphenol could cause changes in behavior and the brain, and that it might reduce survival and birth weight in fetuses.
About 93 percent of Americans have traces of bisphenol in their urine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But the F.D.A.’s report concluded that those levels were thousands of times below what would actually be dangerous to adults or children.
The F.D.A. released its preliminary re-evaluation ahead of a September meeting where outside advisers will debate the chemical’s safety.
Many lawmakers at home and abroad are not waiting for the agency to complete its review.
Canada has announced its intention to ban the use of the chemical in baby bottles, and lawmakers in the United States have introduced legislation to ban bisphenol in children’s products.
California, New Jersey and at least 10 other states also are considering bills to restrict use of the chemical.
More than six million pounds of bisphenol are produced in the United States each year by Dow Chemical, Bayer and other manufacturers.