Thursday, January 21, 2010

FDA Changing Its Stance on BPA

As the New York Times reported in this article last week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that it is recommending reduced human exposure to bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in many hard plastic bottles and metal-based food and beverage cans (see this January update on the FDA's web site).

The FDA claims that studies "have thus far supported the safety of current low levels of human exposure to BPA[.] However, on the basis of results from recent studies using novel approaches to test for subtle effects, both the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health and FDA have some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children." Interestingly, the National Toxicology Program expressed those same concerns in this September 2008 publication, NTP-CERHR Monograph on the Potential Human Reproductive and Developmental Effects of Bisphenol A. This PDF and other documents are accessible at NTP's "Bisphenol A Evaluation" web page.

The steps that the FDA is now taking to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply include support of the following industry efforts:
  • stopping production of BPA-containing baby bottles and infant feeding cups for the U.S. market
  • developing alternatives to BPA for linings of infant formula cans
  • replacing BPA or minimizing BPA levels in other food can linings.
For additional government resources on BPA and related issues, see our guides to Food Supply and Health & Medical Information.

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