FDA shifts thinking on chemical BPA
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The Department of Health and Human Services, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have affirmed that Bisphenol A (BPA) is generally safe at the current low levels of human exposure, reports a story on FoodBusinessNews.net, but both agencies would like to work to limit the exposure young children have to the chemical due to some concerns about the potential effects.
In another story on WebMD.com, the FDA asked that Americans take “reasonable steps” to avoid BPA.
Regulators are not banning the compound, reports the Washington Post, or even requiring manufacturers to label products containing BPA, saying that current data are not clear enough to support a legal crackdown.
Rethinking previous stand
In 2008, the FDA issued a draft assessment finding that BPA was safe, reports WebMD.com.
Now the FDA is on side with the National Toxicology Program when it comes to the health effects of BPA.
The Washington Post article says federal officials are particularly concerned about BPA’s effect on the development of fetuses, infants and young children.
The WebMD.com story quotes the director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences as saying: “There are critical periods of development when exposure to BPA may lead to certain health effects, including behavioural effects, diabetes, reproductive disorders, development of certain kinds of cancers, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and effects that can go from one generation to the next.”
Reducing human exposure
The FoodBusinessNews.net article reports that the FDA is taking steps to reduce human exposure to BPA and the steps include:
• supporting the industry’s action to stop producing baby bottles and infant feeding cups that contain the chemical;
• facilitating the development of alternatives to the chemical for the linings of infant formula cans;
• supporting efforts to replace the chemical or minimize levels in other food can linings, supporting a shift to a more robust regulatory framework for the oversight of BPA; and
• seeking further public comment and external input on the science surrounding it.