By David Gutierrez
An international consortium of experts on the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) has issued a statement condemning the FDA’s insistence that the chemical is safe.
“It is becoming undeniable that BPA is dangerous,” said Laura Vandenberg of Tufts University. “The FDA’s standard for safety is reasonable certainty. It is no longer reasonable to say that BPA is safe.”
BPA, used to make plastics hard and transparent, is commonly used in everything from baby bottles and water bottles to CD cases, eyeglasses and the resin that lines cans of food and infant formula. Yet research has implicated the substance as an endocrine disruptor that mimics the effects of estrogen in the body, leading to health problems including developmental and reproductive defects, hampered immune function, brain damage and disease, diabetes, and heart disease.
The chemical is considered a major public health threat due to its prevalence and to the fact that it builds up in the bodies of humans and other animals. Children in particular have trouble filtering the toxin out of their bodies. High levels of BPA in the body have been shown to interfere with the effectiveness of medical procedures such as chemotherapy and liver tests.
In the past 10 years, 130 different scientific studies have linked BPA to health problems, even at doses far beneath the levels considered safe by the FDA.
Yet the FDA continues to insist that the chemical is safe, based only on two industry-funded studies. The European Food Safety Authority has also relied on these studies to give BPA a clean bill of health.
According to the international consortium, however, these studies failed completely to examine many of the more serious dangers of BPA. Even the studies’ author, Rochelle Tyl, has criticized the FDA’s reliance on them.
“There were errors and inconsistencies in the 2008 report that the FDA used as the foundation for its findings,” Tyl said.