|US: FDA denies petition to ban BPA in food-bev packaging|
|Thursday, 12 April 2012|
The US FDA denied a petition on March 31
seeking to ban bisphenol-A, commonly known as BPA, from food and
beverage packaging, but the agency said it continues to support research
examining the safety of the chemical.
In a 12-page letter, David H Dorsey, FDA acting associate commissioner for policy and planning, wrote that the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which had petitioned the agency to change its regulations on use of the chemical, had not provided sufficient scientific evidence to change the current regulations.
BPA has been used for decades in a broad range of food and beverage containers, in plastic bottles, the linings of cans and on cash register receipts. It can disrupt the endocrine system, so health officials — not to mention environmentalists — are concerned that it may cause reproductive problems, diabetes and other health problems.
Concerns about the chemical's effects on health have already led some corporations to stop using BPA in bottles, sippy cups and other products for children.
So far, FDA's research has found that human infants' exposure to BPA is between 84 and 92 percent less than previously estimated and that the level of BPA from food that could be passed on by pregnant rodents to their unborn offspring is "so low it could not be measured."
"People of all ages process and rid their bodies of BPA faster than the rodents used as test animals do."
Linda S Birnbaum, director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences of the National Institutes of Health, said that her "concerns have not been alleviated by the research that has gone on in the last couple of years" and that her agency is continuing to fund further studies.
But, she said, a lot of questions about BPA remain, including the extent of the problems it may pose. And she cautioned that regulators wouldn't want to ban BPA until they were sure that whatever replaced it wouldn't be worse.
Many companies, including the Campbell Soup Company, have already discontinued or begun phasing out the use of BPA in their packaging and products.
Comment from Bob Messenger, foremost US food industry observer and commentator, editor of The Morning Cup:
'Destructive Duo' together again! First, alar. Now, BPA
I don't mean to sound like a creep towards those who rant on about BPA. But, personally speaking, I have never looked at these people in the same way after the now-infamous and long ago alar scare. Remember that one? A false accusation drummed-up by the likes of CBS' 60 Minutes ended up costing the apple industry more than $100 million.
Guess who was behind the alar lie? The leftist activist group Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Fenton Communications, who skillfully used the media (i.e., 60 Minutes) and Hollywood mouthpieces like actress Meryl Streep, to damn near ruin the apple industry. And it was all a lie from the get-go. Even former surgeon general C. Everett Koop, himself an activist, said "the truth is that Alar never did pose a health hazard.”
So guess who is behind the scare campaign to bring down BPA? That's right, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the same notorious PR gang at Fenton Communications. So you'll pardon me if I don't get all choked up because FDA refused to ban BPA. Maybe it also remembers the shoddy work of NRDC/Fenton in conjuring up the phony alar scare. I sure do.