Who's minding the store? Not the FDA.

Understandably, this week's news media and the blogosphere are brimming with financial news. And BPA stories. Other than generally being very bad news, these two topics might seem worlds apart. But just under the surface lies a very common thread: consumers who are wondering - more and more - who's minding the store?

It's pretty clear the federal government's not. Between the Consumer Product Safety Commission's abysmal performance last year on lead and the FDA's current refusal to acknowledge a quickly growing body of science linking BPA exposure to adverse human health effects, I think it is safe to say that they are (at best) out to lunch. Which we've discussed once or twice before here on Enviroblog. We also wrote the FDA a letter about its recent assessment of BPA (relax, everyone, it's safe!), making our interest in additional safety controls quite clear:

FDA's conclusion that current standards are adequate to protect public health from BPA's hormone-disrupting effects is at odds with available science on BPA's potential to harm infants and with conclusions drawn by other public health agencies and BPA experts.

With its current flawed assessment, FDA is far from the health-protective positions adopted by other health agencies and independent BPA experts who have taken a serious look at the many studies that demonstrate BPA's potential to harm health at current levels of exposure in the population. We call on FDA to act on the science and to set BPA standards that protect the health of infants and others who are most vulnerable to its effects.

But rather than wait a really. long. time. until the FDA can agree with the science and do something, we can make safer personal choices, vote with our purses when we shop, and ask manufacturers for what we want. Because unlike the FDA, they have to care what we think.

But frankly, it's a little exhausting to add all those steps to my list. I'd really rather walk in to a store, any store, every store, and just buy safer products. But apparently that is asking too much. Sure makes the Kid-Safe Chemicals Act look good. Unlike our current ineffective chemicals regulatory law, this Act would require that new chemicals be safety tested before they're sold (revolutionary!), among other positive changes. Check out our Kid-Safe fact sheet. With Kid-Safe, we could actually walk into a store, any store, every store, and buy safe products - without the three hours of research! Well worth the hard work it's going to take to pass it.

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