April 16, 2008

NIH Panel: Oh, THAT BPA? Yeah, That S**t'll Kill Ya

From the front page of the Washington Post: seems the new draft report of the NIH's National Toxicology Program panel is going to state that Bisphenol-A, the plastic additive found in baby bottles, sippy cups, and liquid formula can liners, could pose a variety of health and behavioral risks after all. The finding is a reversal from last fall's recommendations, which turn out to have been written by the chemical industry:

Last year, another expert panel using outside scientists minimized the health risks of BPA, but its findings were widely assailed after a congressional investigation found that a firm hired to perform scientific analysis was also working for the chemical industry.

Used in the production of plastic since the 1950s, BPA may be linked in laboratory animals to breast cancer, prostate cancer, early puberty in females and behavioral changes, according to the study released yesterday. It called for more research into the chemical's health effects.

Also, the FDA ignored hundreds of BPA-related studies in order to avoid regulating its use in baby formula:
Last month, in response to questions from lawmakers, the FDA said it had disregarded hundreds of government and academic studies about the cancer risks of BPA and used just two studies funded by the chemical industry to determine that the chemical is safe.
I look forward to the JPMA's announcement of total victory for safety.

U.S. Cites Fears on Chemical In Plastics [washpost]


Business(wo)men and politicians, knowingly poisoning our children for the sake of profit. Nice, thanks guys (you should all be shot).

I'm definitely not dismissing the BPA problem and corporations doing anything to make more of the almighty dollar, but this piece on Slate from yesterday is timely and relevant:

Why do we focus on the least important causes of cancer?

[that article makes so many false comparisons and misses so many points and counterarguments, slate should be ashamed. it bounces back and forth comparing known but rare toxins and "shopping" your way out of cancer. It conflates first and third world; it ignores inconvenient cases like smoking and eating oats that have mnacroscale impacts on cancer. and it ignores treatment options, which influence research and prevention priorities. it also blithely dismisses the econ. and social reasons for focusing on manmade toxins. And it presents the false choice that we must have either useless media hype or extremely rare cancers, or real, useful, largescale solutions. in fact, we can have both, as needed. -ed]

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