Environmental connections to public health >>
FDA Science Board talks BPA, again
Yesterday, for the I-don't-even-know-what-time-anymore, the Science Board of the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held another meeting to discuss the dangers of BPA. Sure, it's important to discuss chemicals and their toxicity for humans. But there comes a time for action. Like right now. BPA is a toxic hormone disruptor that contaminates canned infant formula, canned foods foods and beverages packaged in hard polycarbonate plastic. Laboratory tests link it to a growing list of serious health problems. Recent studies have found that BPA exposure during early life permanently changes the developing brain and reproductive systems. EWG senior scientist Dr. Anila Jacob testified during the public comment period, as did Dr. Urvashi Rangan from Consumer Reports and Steve Hentges a.k.a. "the only guy in the world that will look you in your eye and tell you to give BPA to your kids." Steve is, as you can guess, from American Chemistry Council, the industry group representing BPA manufacturers. Even though these sessions can be very educational, BPA contamination is a very serious public health issue. FDA officials offered little reassurance that they have is a plan to address quickly the known and serious routes of exposure, leaving millions of people at risk. There is enough evidence out there that BPA is harmful. There are also plenty of alternatives. FDA should have a timely and transparent plan for reducing BPA exposures for children and other sensitive groups. The Canadian government has already deemed infant exposures to be a serious concern and announced prompt action to reduce risks. The U.S. government should do no less.