15 October 2008 22:56 [Source: ICIS news]
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HOUSTON (ICIS news)--A US Congressional committee requested on Wednesday an interview with a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner to discuss how the health agency decided that bisphenol A (BPA) was safe.
In the latest step in its 10-month investigation of BPA, a critical ingredient in polycarbonate (PC) and epoxy resin, the House energy and commerce commission asked FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach to explain the agency’s decision that BPA was safe at the levels in which most consumers encounter it.
Some studies have linked BPA to heart disease and diabetes.
"The FDA is a science-based agency, but in the case of bisphenol A, the science may have been ignored. We want Dr von Eschenbach to take responsibility for his agency's decision and explain why his agency appears to be cherry-picking the science around BPA," said committee member Representative Bart Stupak (Democrat-Michigan).
FDA spokeswoman Heidi Rebello declined to comment on the matter.
The committee is concerned that the FDA has relied on two industry-funded studies in making its BPA assessment, according to a letter that House officials sent to the agency.
In addition, the agency's BPA panel hired ICF Consulting, a private contractor whose board members allegedly has ties with BPA manufacturers, the letter said. ICF Consulting was paid to write summary assessments of BPA.
The interview request is the latest development in the feud that the committee has had with the FDA.
The committee has said it was opening an investigation into Martin Philbert, chairman of an FDA advisory panel that looked into the health effects of BPA.
The committee accused Philbert of conflict of interest due to a $5m (€3.7m) grant his university department received from a businessman who openly said BPA does not cause health problems.
($1 = €0.73)
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