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FDA Must Ban BPA in Baby Bottles and Infant Formula

For Immediate Release: 
Friday, August 14, 2009

WASHINGTON, August 14, 2009 – For the first time under the Obama administration’s leadership, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is scheduled on Monday, August 17th, to update the public on its new scientific review of the safety of the plastics chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in food packaging.

If, as Environmental Working Group (EWG) has urged, the FDA concludes that BPA, a synthetic estrogen, endangers people even at the low concentrations currently detected in food and beverages, it can be expected to draft regulations barring the chemical’s contact with the nation’s food supply.

“Scientific research has provided ample evidence to support the conclusion that BPA, even in very low does, is dangerous to human health,” Jane Houlihan, EWG senior Vice President for research, said in comments submitted to the FDA’s advisory Science Board. “It is past time for FDA to recognize that fact and to take action to end rampant BPA contamination of food, especially infant formula and foods consumed by pregnant women and young children.“

Houlihan’s statement cited recent research studies finding that:

  • BPA wreaks havoc on brain function in monkeys, disabling their capacity for thought and feminizing the behavior of male monkeys.
  • BPA spurs early puberty, premature menopause and permanent menstrual periods in animals.
  • Premature infants fighting for their lives are being bombarded with BPA via plastic IVs and other medical devices used by hospitals. As well, they may be receiving large doses, for their weights, in formula.

“With more than 90% of the American population exposed to BPA, the threat this toxic chemical poses to public health is enormous,” Houlihan, said. “Our concern is that the FDA will fall into the common trap of authorizing interminable studies of BPA, while most Americans continue their exposure to this dangerous chemical.”

“Through hundreds of studies enough proven science has been amassed on BPA to act now. We await FDA’s final assessment of BPA to learn if the agency has embraced the Science Board’s recommendations, and, ultimately, the Administration’s commitment to bring real change to Washington,” she said.

Click here for EWG’s BPA comments to the FDA’s Science Board.

Click here for EWG’s BPA timeline:

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