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Federal Health Agency Reverses Course, Increases Concern Over Toxic Infant Formula Contaminant

For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

WASHINGTON – In a dramatic development, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) raised concerns that the toxic plastics chemical known as Bisphenol A (BPA) may be linked to a number of serious reproductive and developmental problems that are common in the US population including breast cancer and early puberty.

These findings by the NTP, part of the National Institutes of Health, reversed the opinions of an earlier panel that dismissed these concerns. Environmental Working Group (EWG) and others charged at the time that industry contractors who deliberately misrepresented the science had hijacked the evaluation of BPA’s hazards.

A subsequent inquiry by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee led to the firing of Sciences International, the industry contractor hired to conduct the review, and spurred the NTP reevaluation released today.

“NTP’s decision corrects the scientific record. It reflects a significant body of science showing that BPA may play a larger role than previously thought in a host of common health problems, including prostate cancer, breast cancer, and early puberty,” said Dr. Anila Jacob, senior scientist at EWG. “ “The findings break new scientific ground, for the first time validating the results of tests conducted on animals at very low doses similar to those which people are exposed to,” added Dr. Jacob.

 

Late last year EWG contacted company officials at every major formula company and found that all manufacturers use BPA to line the metal portions of all infant formula containers, including both liquid and powdered varieties.

An EWG investigation found that the smallest and hungriest babies are the most vulnerable from exposures to BPA at levels that pose risks. Overall, 1 out of every 16 infants fed ready-to-eat liquid formula is exposed to BPA at doses exceeding those shown to be harmful in the most sensitive laboratory studies.

 

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EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment.

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