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NIH Refutes FDA’s Claims BPA is Safe for Use

For Immediate Release: 
Wednesday, September 3, 2008

WASHINGTON – The National Institutes of Health’s National Toxicology Program (NTP) concluded today that bisphenol A (BPA), an artificial sex hormone and chemical used in hard plastic products like baby bottles, may alter brain development and increase the risk of prostate cancer. The NIH review, which contradicts a recent FDA assessment based on chemical industry science, reflects the findings of dozens of independent scientists from around the globe who have raised questions for more than a decade about the chemical’s possible dangers.

NTP’s assessment that BPA exposure is cause for concern directly refutes last month’s announcement by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which claimed exposure to BPA is safe for humans. NTP reviewed over 100 independent scientific studies before reaching its conclusion, while FDA relied solely on three chemical industry-funded reports, which gave the toxic chemical the thumbs up for use in consumer products.

“Unlike the FDA, NTP has listened to the nation’s premier scientists and has concluded that the BPA threat to the brains, bodies and behavior of our children must be taken seriously,” EWG Executive Director Richard Wiles said. “The agency’s stance is measured -- and courageous in the face of the slick, relentless publicity campaign from the chemical industry, which seems to be following the tobacco industry’s playbook.”

“The FDA has no credibility when it comes to BPA safety," Wiles added. "The NIH announcement is yet more confirmation that the FDA is in the pocket of industry. FDA ignored the nation’s top public health scientists and instead lauded the benefits of a toxic hormone disruptor found in virtually every infant in America. Now that wrong has been righted.”

The U.S. chemical industry produces an estimated 2.3 billion pounds of BPA annually to make polycarbonates and epoxy resins, tough, light materials that are fabricated into a vast array of products, including airplanes, computer and cell phone parts, paints and coatings, safety helmets and goggles, dental bonding agents, toys, water and baby bottles and food packaging. The global market for BPA is estimated at 6 billion pounds, which translates roughly to $6 billion.

"Consumers deserve straight talk from the government," Wiles said. "The new NTP assessment tells us that we are right to be concerned about BPA and the industry’s ongoing chemistry experiment on our kids."

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