FDA Says BPA Is Safe—At Least for Now

May 15, 2008 01:51 PM
by Cara McDonough
The FDA tells consumers not to worry about a controversial chemical found in plastic water and baby bottles.

30-Second Summary

Norris Alderson, the FDA’s associate commissioner for science, says that the agency is currently reviewing the safety of chemical bisphenol A (BPA), but “a large body of evidence” suggests that products made with it are safe.

BPA is commonly found in hard plastic products such as some baby and water bottles, safety equipment, medical devices, and the coating in most food and beverage cans. People can consume the chemical when it leaches out of the plastic into the liquid or food inside the container.

Public concern about the chemical heightened in April when the U.S. National Toxicology Program issued a report saying that even low levels of the chemical could be harmful to young children and fetuses. The data was based on animal studies.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and other Democratic senators in April introduced a bill that would ban BPA in children’s products. “Parents always err on the side of caution when it comes to their kids’ health. We think that the law should do the same,” Schumer said.

But during testimony before a Senate subcommittee, Alderson said that two industry-funded studies conducted by the FDA determined products containing BPA are safe to use.

Headline Link: BPA “safe,” says FDA

Background: The National Toxicology Program report

Avoiding BPA

Opinion & Analysis: Common sense or “hysteria”?

Related Topics: Senators want BPA banned


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