Regulatory Science Watch Update: FDA Declines to Ban BPA


The can's OK says FDA

Last Friday, I blogged that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was expected to rule on the safety of bisphenol-A (BPA) for use in various plastics including the plastic liners in canned food and drink containers. The Natural Resources Defense Council lobbying group has been pressing the agency for several years to ban the substance claiming that it produces deleterious estrogenic effects in the human body. 

The FDA has declined to ban BPA. The agency reportedly sent a letter to the NRDC stating: 

"The information provided in your petition was not sufficient to persuade FDA, at this time, to initiate rulemaking to prohibit the use of BPA in human food and food packaging."

The agency based its decision on recent research that found: 

With the support of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program (NTP), scientists at FDA's National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) have been studying BPA.

The NCTR researchers have been conducting in-depth studies of BPA since September 2008, when a report by the NIEHS and NTP called for more research into the potential toxic effects of BPA on fetuses, infants and children.

NCTR's findings include:

  • The level of BPA from food that could be passed from pregnant mothers to the fetus is so low that it could not be measured. Researchers fed pregnant rodents 100 to 1,000 times more BPA than people are exposed to through food, and could not detect the active form of BPA in the fetus eight hours after the mother's exposure.
  • Exposure to BPA in human infants is from 84 to 92 percent less than previously estimated.

NCTR researchers report that they were able to build mathematical models of what happens to BPA once it's in the human body. These models showed that BPA is rapidly metabolized and eliminated through feces and urine. They found that BPA is "exactly the opposite" from some other toxins, like dioxin, that can stay in the body's tissues for months or even years.

The center's toxicology research has not found evidence of BPA toxicity at low doses in rodent studies, including doses that are still above human exposure levels.

Naturally, the environmental lobbyists disagreed. Businessweek reports

Sarah Janssen, a senior scientist at the NRDC, said the FDA's denial of a ban shows "a major overhaul" of chemical regulation is needed. The Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based advocacy group, said consumers can no longer trust the FDA to protect the health of their families.

"The agency has veered dangerously off course," Jane Houlihan, the group's senior vice president for research, said today in a statement. "Pregnant women and new parents should no longer think FDA has their backs."

Hundreds of studies focusing on the effects (or in this case mostly non-effects) of trace amounts of BPA ingested by people have been conducted. Unfortunately, the uncertainties inherent in this kind of scientific research means that the proponents of the precautionary principle can always justify (at least to themselves) their continuing campaign to ban BPA. 

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  1. BPA – environutbait for new mommies

    1. Is the U.S. Becoming a “Dumping Ground” for Substandard Products?

      As the European Union and other nations have begun to tighten their environmental standards, manufacturers have begun to use America as a dumping ground for consumer goods that fail to meet other nations’ standards for toxic chemical content. Manufacturers ship wood, toys, electronics, pesticides and cosmetics to the U.S. containing substances that are banned or restricted elsewhere, because they raise the risk of cancer or cause reproductive or neurological damage.

      ~Dr. Mercola…..rmula.aspx

      The Koch-suckers care only that their sugar daddy makes more money, at the risk of your health.

      1. Good job addressing the topic at hand there

        Oh and the article forgot to mention the role BPA has played in reducing botulism.

        1. Good job avoiding the topic at hand there, scruffy.

          Oh and the Fibertard forgot to mention the role BPA has played with increased risk for cardiovascular disease, miscarriages, breast and prostate cancer, reproductive dysfunction, metabolic dysfunction and diabetes, and neurological and behavioral disorders (Braun, 2009; Lang, 2008; Li, 2009; Sugiura-Ogasawara, 2005).

          1. I’m gonna go ahead and say it because it’s cathartic.

            You are a worthless piece of shit.

            The studies associating BPA with adverse effects have been thoroughly discredited. Primarily because BPA is broken down and excreted within hours of oral intake. Unless you are going to inject yourself with the stuff (please feel free to), it is totally innocuous.

            Additionally, BPA does imitate estrogen, but it is 15,000 times weaker than any natural human hormone. Combined with a half-life of about six hours in the human body, this makes it completely safe for use.

          2. No major regulatory body has found reason to remove BPA from the marketplace, and they have been straightforward in affirming its benefits as a preventative against botulism.

            In fact, those of you who continue to campaign against its use based on flawed and faulty science, deserve to be sickened with botulism, which if you survive, has far more serious after-effects on the nervous and respiratory systems than any of the purported effects of BPA.

            Go back to your hole, you amoral louse on the ass of humanity.

            1. You sound like a corporate stooge who thinks dying of malaria is worse than using DDT.

            2. CAN WE PLEASE STOP RESPOINDING TO TROLL POSTS!? Its like we’re littering our yard with hundreds of dead cattle, and then complaining about the vultures circling above. I for one am sick of half of every thread being the SAME FUCKING DEBATE EVERY TIME. But you fucking idiots never stop feeding the fucking troll.

  2. Science used to mean something. Now it means anything.

    1. You mad it doesn’t mean what you want it to mean, bro?

      1. Hello

    2. especially for those who didnt know what science was to begin with Tim.

  3. obviously we will no longer suffer [JOBZ] killing regs like this after the FDA is eliminated…and go buckeyes beat kentucky!!1!11

  4. I distrust the FDA as much as the next guy, so I won’t discount that the environuts might have a point that they don’t “have our backs”. But the delicious salty ham tears that they no doubt will be crying over this are too good.

    Also, the irony that if all of those studies had confirmed their idea, they would have no compunction about using the government to fuck plastic manufacturers in the ass, but since they don’t they are going to cry about it, is too hilarious.

    1. In this case, the FDA came down correctly. There is near zero evidence that BPA is a problem. Even California has decided to leave it alone.

    2. Also, the irony that if all of those studies had confirmed their idea, they would have no compunction about using the government to fuck plastic manufacturers in the ass, but since they don’t they are going to cry about it, is too hilarious.

      This is what happens when you use government to meet personal ends. To the environutties, it would be a victory for the people were BPA to have been banned, but since it hasn’t, surely it’s because the FDA is in the pocket of big plastic.

    3. Anyone checked to see when the patent on the current BPA process expired? I’m not usually a conspiracy theorist, but I also remember Freon.

  5. I’ve been storing my vaccines in bottles lined with BPA. Is that going to be a problem?

    1. HERETIC!

  6. The Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based advocacy group, said consumers can no longer trust the FDA to protect the health of their families.

    Like DesigNate said, libertarians and environmental activists finally have common ground.

    1. The Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based advocacy group, said consumers can no longer trust the FDA to protect the health of their families.

      Until they try and use the FDA in their crusade to make everything either free or incredibly expensive (due to entitlements or undue regulation) the next time. If everyone who has ever said that Americans can no longer trust the government, because a regulatory agency has somehow ruled against their cause, stopped trying to use the government in their crusades we’d be a much better country.

    2. Hey, just cause I distrust the FDA doesn’t mean I want to share any common ground with those smelly, poncho wearing, asshats.

      Plus, just cause the FDA refuses to act on something the environuts think they should, doesn’t mean the science disproving their nuttery is bad.

  7. FDA Renounces Science
    Women and Minorities Certain to Suffer Disproportionately!

    Film at Eleven,

    1. Renounces makes it sound like their previous relationship with science wasn’t orthogonal.

  8. I certainly hope the fear-mongers don’t let up. Please god, continue – and show the world all the credibility you don’t have.

  9. Well this is good news. One question: Are there any studies on the effects of long-term low doses?

  10. The FDA has declined to ban BPA.

    This would never happen if there was a Democrat in the White House.

    1. Great point.

  11. From what I have read, you get absorb far more BPA from thermal printer paper than from any food packaging source. And even then there is little evidence that it is particularly biologically active.
    One never knows, but it seems like the FDA made the right decision.

    1. Thermal printer paper?

      I don’t think I’ve even seen that stuff for at least 10 years.

  12. The gibbering, asshat, stroller brigade pearl-clutchers were all wrong.


  13. “Regulatory Science Watch Update: FDA Declines to Ban BPA”
    Damn there goes the Climate…Temperatures on the rise.

  14. Dude seems to know what time of day it is. Wow.

  15. Black is beautiful

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