Here's more drama brewing in the world of bisphenol A (BPA).
A US Congressional committee, which has been investigating the BPA issue since January, is said to be investigating a possible instance of conflict of interest involving the chairman of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel on BPA, Martin Philbert.
Philbert is said to be also the head of a research center that received a $5 million donation from Charles Gelman, a retired medical equipment manufacturer who has stated that BPA is "perfectly safe" and has also indicated that he has told Dr. Philbert of his opinion several times.
Representatives John D. Dingell (D-MI), Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and Bart Stupak (D-MI), Chairman of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, noted that Philbert did not disclose this donation. The FDA requires advisory panel members to disclose such potential conflicts of interest, and in the case of the BPA panel, it specifically asked for any financial interests between panel members and medical device manufacturers.
Dingell and Stupak wrote a letter today to the FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach to send information regarding the Philbert/Gelman connection, as well as for the Commissioner to appear for an interview to explain FDA's decision why BPA is safe.
"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," says Rep. Stupak.