FDA Finally Says BPA is Harmful but Continues to Ride the Fence

I was SO excited to hear about the FDA's recent change in stance on BPA – until I heard the whole story . . .

After delaying its decision three times, the FDA finally agreed that there is some concern about BPA and then issued a warning about its damaging effects.

I did a happy dance.

Then I read the FDA's strange sideways talk they called a “plan of action” and it reminded me a lot of a used car salesman:

  1. FDA is taking reasonable steps to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply – – but the FDA is “not recommending that families change the use of infant formula or foods, as the benefit of a stable source of good nutrition outweighs the potential risk from BPA exposure.”
  2. FDA is supporting a shift to a more robust regulatory framework for oversight of BPA – – but they won't be able to impose a ban or any strict regulations because:  “Current BPA food contact uses were approved under food additive regulations issued more than 40 years ago.  This regulatory structure limits the oversight and flexibility of FDA.  Furthermore, if FDA were to decide to revoke one or more approved uses, FDA would need to undertake what could be a lengthy process of rulemaking to accomplish this goal.”
  3. FDA is seeking further public comment and external input on the science surrounding BPA – – even though the FDA agrees that recent studies provide reason for some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children, they also believe that “substantial uncertainties with respect to the overall interpretation of these studies and their potential implications for human health effects of BPA exposure.”

In other words, the FDA will continue to ride the fence.  They gave a little pat on the head to the environmental groups and scientists who are convinced of BPA's dangers, then turned around and told the chemical industry they agree that there just isn't enough research to support more than just “some concern” – – so go ahead and continue using BPA at your discretion, just being sure to keep looking for other alternatives.

Dang, we didn't even get a requirement for product labeling out of this whole thing.  So how are parents supposed to avoid BPA?

Oh well, I guess I'll stop ranting and get back to what we were doing before – working endless hours to confirm which hidden toxic chemicals are lurking in our everyday household products.  Sheesh.

>> Be sure to check out this article for more interesting reading on an informal bit of research done by the Early Show and Dr. Fred Vom Saal.

>> Download our free ebook for tips on avoiding BPA in food contact items and toys made to be mouthed by children.


3 Responses to FDA Finally Says BPA is Harmful but Continues to Ride the Fence

  1. SarahJo January 21, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    I'm with you, Alicia. And I am thankful for all of the work you do to help busy moms like me find the safest products. I feel the more we (as consumers) can make a statement about our choice to forgo products with BPA, the more that companies will offer what we demand outside of the much-needed legislation.

  2. Alicia
    Alicia January 21, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    Thanks so much for your kind words SarahJo! I agree that we need to continue to speak out by putting our money where our mouths are and refuse to by subpar, toxic products until we see some changes!


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