FDA Insists Toxic Sex Hormone and Plastics Chemical BPA, Good for Babies
For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Rockville, MD – At an open meeting today, officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) came under increased fire for the agency’s position that bisphenol A (BPA) - the artificial sex hormone and plastics chemical that has produced irreversible damage in test animals - should remain in food packaging, including infant formula containers and baby bottles.
To date, FDA officials continue to cite just 2 studies, both funded by the chemical industry, to give BPA a thumbs-up for its use in consumer products. The FDA has refused to take into serious consideration more than 100 independent animal studies suggesting the toxic chemical could be linked to serious disorders in humans, including prostate cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, early puberty, obesity and learning and behavioral problems.
Earlier today, University of Missouri research scientist Frederick vom Saal made public one of the most comprehensive studies ever published on BPA linking heart disease and diabetes to continual, low-dose exposure to BPA. In the article, published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association, British scientists reported a strong correlation between levels of BPA in American adults and these diseases, both of which are on the rise in the U.S.
“These startling results only increase the urgency of removing BPA from products used by young children,” said EWG senior scientist Anila Jacob M.D. M.P.H. “If the adult population in the U.S. is seeing links between this toxic chemical and heart disease and diabetes, imagine what impact much higher exposure levels are having on babies whose bodies are just developing.” Dr. Jacob testified before the panel earlier in the day.
The FDA has been publicly at odds with the NIH over the issue of BPA. Just last month, the California legislature was poised to pass the first-ever law removing BPA from baby bottles. Just days before the vote was scheduled, FDA strongly reiterated its position that the chemical is harmless, even to fetuses, newborns and children. On Aug. 20, the bill was defeated by narrow margin. Five days later, the National Toxicology Program, an arm of the National Institutes of Health, asserted that it has “some concern” for BPA’s negative impact on “development of the prostate gland and brain and for behavioral effects in fetuses, infants and children.”
“If this weren’t so serious, it would be laughable,” said EWG VP for Research, Jane Houlihan. “Here we have an agency that time and again makes the wrong call on everything from pharmaceuticals, tomatoes and toothpaste, and we’re supposed to take them at their word over a toxic sex hormone found in baby products.”
EWG is a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment.