29 October 2008 15:55 [Source: ICIS news]
(Adds comments from Bart Stupak in paragraph 11, comments from American Chemistry Council in paragraphs 12-13)
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) failed to properly gauge the health effects of bisphenol A before declaring the chemical safe, an independent panel of scientists who advise the agency said on Wednesday.
In its report, the panel accused the FDA subcommittee on BPA of ignoring prior studies that found the chemical harmful and using insufficient sample sizes in its own assessment of how the chemical affects infants and pregnant women.
The subcommittee is scheduled to present its findings on BPA on 31 October.
FDA spokesman Michael Herndon declined to elaborate on the matter, instead referring to an official agency press release.
“The FDA agrees that, due to the uncertainties raised in some studies relating to the potential effects of low dose exposure to bisphenol A, additional research would be valuable,” the FDA statement said.
“The FDA is already moving forward with planned research to address the potential low dose effects of bisphenol A, and we will carefully evaluate the findings of these studies,” the statement said,” the statement continued.
Many previous studies - including those by the Journal of the American Medical Association and the National Toxicology Program, a government agency that advises the FDA - have linked BPA to heart disease, cancer and developmental problems.
BPA is found in scores of products, including polycarbonate (PC) baby bottles and the epoxy resin liners in infant formula cans.
The scientists’ criticism added fuel to the BPA controversy.
The influential House Committee on Energy and Commerce is in the midst of a feud with the FDA and has asked agency commissioner Andrew Von Eschenbach to explain its earlier assessment that the chemical was safe.
“It amazes me that the FDA requires a Science Board report to tell them to consider all the available scientific studies when evaluating the safety of a chemical. The agency’s efforts on BPA have not instilled complete confidence in its ability to protect the public,” said committee member US Rep. Bart Stupak (Democrat-Michigan).
Chemical industry trade association the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said it would await the final FDA verdict on BPA and act accordingly.
“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.
For more information on BPA and PC visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections