October 29, 2008

FDA Science Panel: This Week, BPA Is Dangerous, Study Is Flawed Again

The scientific-sounding arguments about the health risks to infants and toddlers from Bisphenol-A just bounce slowly. from. damning. revelation. to. exoneration. and. back. again. It's like watching Pong on the world's slowest computer. Or like playing chess by mail with some nerd in Antarctica.

Anyway, this week, it's back to damning revelation and resounding condemnation by a board of scientists tasked by the FDA with reviewing the agency's panel's assessments of the state of BPA research. The Science Board concluded that the FDA ignored key studies and used shoddy, incomplete science when it declared BPA safe, especially for infants and toddlers who are exposed to the chemical from plastic baby bottles and the liners of liquid formula cans. From the WSJ:

Specifically, the report finds that the FDA used too few samples of formula in its analysis. And the agency should have accounted for the variability of BPA levels in different samples, rather than relying on the mean for its estimates, the report suggests.
This back and forth might be ending soon, though, if only because the facts on the ground, so to speak, are changing faster than the FDA's executive summaries. The number one and number two markets for BPA-laced baby products, Wal-Mart and Canada, respectively, have both announced bans.

And the American Chemical Council spokesperson's statement to the Washington Post is about as close an acknowledgement of defeat that a lobbyist for a giant industrial consortium can get:

The American Chemistry Council, a trade group that represents BPA manufacturers, said its members would comply with whatever the FDA decides to do.

"If the agency determines that existing margins of safety are insufficient in infant applications, our member companies that manufacture BPA will put processes in place to promptly phase out the use of materials containing BPA in baby bottles and infant formula packaging," ACC spokeswoman Tiffany Harrington said.

Put that in your formula warmer and heat it.

The Journal says that the Science Board's findings "will be hashed out at a meeting on Friday." Could that be Freakout Friday? Because I'm totally going. Alas, no. The WSJ's link is to a meeting scheduled for Nov. 18, which is a Tuesday. By which point, it won't matter anyway. Because Obama will have won, and all unsafe products, substances, and practices will have been swept from the earth by a giant, cleansing rainbow, along with all disease, poverty, war, and exorbitant ATM fees.

BPA Ruling Flawed, Panel Says [washington post]
Scientific Advisers Criticize FDA's Exoneration of BPA [wsj]

1 Comment

Just when I thought it was okay to pump in my Avent...

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