Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The FDA on BPA

The head of the Food and Drug Administration spoke today about the chemical known as BPA or bisphenol A. It is found in many plastics, including several brands of baby bottles. Animal studies have shown BPA can cause developmental and neurological deficits. The FDA made a statement about the chemical today.

The ABC script is below. I also typed in some verbatim from the news conference. I don't think the head of the FDA said BPA is safe, but many news reports are saying otherwise. To me, it sounds like she is saying there isn't enough BPA in a baby bottle to cause harm as far as she knows, but more research is needed. I guess the ABC reporter took the information differently based on the lead sentence of the story below. I am putting all the information on this blog so you can decide for yourself.

ABC:The head of the Food and Drug Administration Laura Tarantino, said the chemical known as BPA is safe. The chemical is used in plastic baby bottles, and the latest study shows, that exposure to BPA, is linked to diabetes and heart disease. At a hearing in Rockville, Maryland today, Tarantino said however, the FDA will continue to look at more research.

Verbatim from News Conference from Laura Tarantino: "The conclusion is consistent with that of other national regulatory bodies with the responsibility for food packaging. They have concluded upon review of the available information there is not a health risk to consumers including children at current levels of exposure. There's not evidence sufficient to change the determination that the current margains of safety are protective. However, we agree with the findings of NTP and others that the animals studies that suggest a potential for developmental or neuro-behavioral effects cannot be dismissed. We further agree that more research is needed."

How do you interpret this statement from the FDA?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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Maria said...

I interpret it (based solely on what you provided) as the FDA saying that there is not enough information to say that BPA is unsafe. In doing so, they imply that it is safe, while others, such as myself, prefer a more cautious route of it being unsafe until proven safe. Furthermore, the FDA continues to cite just two industry sponsored studies as the body of evidence they have to look at, while they dismiss studies completed by scientists at Universities (for example) and even other Government agencies. IMO, the FDA is seeing what it wants to see.

However, there are portions of the conference and additional quotes, such as that provided by the AP (""Right now, our tentative conclusion is that it's safe, so we're not recommending any change in habits," said Laura Tarantino, head of the FDA's office of food additive safety." http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gTsjZEbDygH6At_ltaiqOWOIe89gD937VDJ00) that further tell the story of today's conference.

The FDA made a statement today, no doubt, in correlation with the Washington Post article about a healthy survey relating to certain diseases and bpa (which lead to the other, I have no idea, but one could reasonably assume it's correlated, IMO).

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