US FDA postpones BPA health assessment

30 November 2009 21:03  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said on Monday it has postponed announcing its health and safety assessment of the chemical bisphenol A (BPA).

The FDA originally planned to give its decision on the safety of BPA on 30 November. Agency spokesman Michael Herndon did not give a reason for the delay, only saying that an announcement would be “forthcoming”.

Health and environmental groups such as the Breast Cancer Fund and the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) have lobbied for a ban on BPA in food containers after some studies linked the chemical, used mainly in polycarbonate (PC) production, to everything from developmental problems in foetuses to cancer. 

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has opposed such a ban, saying the dosage of BPA needed to cause such illnesses is higher than most people ingest.

The FDA has ruled that BPA is harmless to humans. But critics called that judgment into question after it was revealed that the agency based its decision on two reports funded by the chemical industry.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel newspaper looked at nearly 260 studies on BPA in 2007. About 80% of those that found a link between BPA and harm to human health were independently funded, while nearly all studies that found no link were industry sponsored, the newspaper found.

Even without FDA action, other governments and organisations have taken action against BPA. Canada banned BPA in children’s products in October 2008, followed by Minnesota, Connecticut, Chicago and other municipalities. California lawmakers have twice tried to ban the chemical.

Walmart and other retailers have removed PC baby products from their shelves.

For more on BPA visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect 

By: Ben Lefebvre
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