On December 12th, the Washington Post reported that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would not be altering their current stance on the usage of the plastic additive bisphenol A (BPA) in food and drug products.
“The agency has been reviewing its risk assessments for bisphenol A, a chemical used to harden plastic that is found in a wide variety of products, from baby bottles to compact discs to the lining of canned goods. The chemical, commonly called BPA, mimics estrogen and may disrupt the body’s carefully calibrated endocrine system.”
This is astounding given that the Post reporter goes on to say that there are over 130 studies that prove that BPA is harmful to people of all ages.
“Over the past decade, more than 130 studies have linked BPA to breast cancer, obesity, diabetes, neurological problems and other disorders. Much of the new research suggests that BPA has an effect at very low doses — lower than the current safety standard set by the FDA.”
Throughout our industrialized history, there has been push-back from various industries when public health concerns could potentially affect their bottom line (e.g., lead-lined canned foods, including baby formula). It has been found, time and again, that it may initially cause an increase in cost to the producer, however, if industry does not address these public health concerns, they could actually be killing off their future customers.
The fear of prevention has got to come to an end. I only hope that with the change in our Presidential Administration we will at least start to head in that direction.
Ruth Long, MA, MPH is with the Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy at The George Washington University School of Public Health.