Thursday, November 6, 2008

More on BPA

In regards to the previous posting “CDC criticizes FDA on BPA in the United States,” this is the kind of thing that makes my blood boil. Turns out the FDA’s August report claiming the safety of Bisphenol-A (BPA) was largely based on another report, one commissioned by the American Chemistry Council- a trade group representing chemical manufacturers. In 2004 just over 1 million metric tons of BPA was manufactured by the giants Bayer MaterialScience, Dow Chemical Co, Hexion Specialty Chemicals and Sunoco Chemicals, all ACC members. All making lots and lots and lots of money on BPA, so they fund a study and voila! BPA is safe.
Industry funded science.

The CDC and the NTC (National Toxicology Program), both also under the Dept of Health and Human Services severely rebuked the FDA’s finding, citing that “…the chemical is of some concern for effects on the development of the prostate gland and brain, and for behavioral effects in fetuses, infants and children…with some concern for the neurodevelopment of young children, infants and fetuses.” That's not safe, that's dangerous.
The FDA’s mission:


What's the response of the FDA? If you'd like your eyes to glaze over read Andrew C. von Eschenbach, M.D., the FDA’s Commissioner of Food and Drugs, on his Oct 31 blog. Scary.

Here’s one gem from it:
The Agency seeks the new data coming from that revolution. But these new scientific data must be assembled into information and converted to knowledge upon which our regulatory decisions are based. We cannot short-circuit or avoid this process of rigorous analysis, critical assessment, and stringent validation. Only then will we have the strong scientific foundation upon which to make an enduring regulatory decision to approve a product, change a drug label or issue a call for change in or removal of a product.

Yeah, whatever.
In the 1930’s medical experts discovered BPA was estrogenic.
In the 1980’s BPA toxicity was shown in rodents at high doses.
In the 1990’s researchers showed detrimental effects at low doses.
In 2005 they found that doses as low as 0.23 parts per trillion affect cells.
In 2007 a group of the world’s leading experts published a comprehensive set of reviews on BPA and, as Frederick vom Saal, a professor of reproductive biology and neurobiology at the University of Missouri-Columbia said= "This is the kind of thing you would think would scare the heck out of anybody in the public health community."

Keep informed. Pass it on. Call your state legislator, tell him or her that you know about this. Tell him or her that you expect public health decisions to be based upon science, not industry pocketbooks. Pass it on...

Consumer tips for avoiding BPA