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Toxic Threat May Warrant Action

Tue, 08/18/2009 - 6:31am

SAN FRANCISCO — Scientists, physicians, consumers and environmental health advocates today responded to an FDA staff presentation on progress of their review of bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic sex hormone linked to cancer, diabetes, heart problems and other illness. Congressmen Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak asked for FDA to review their evaluation of BPA.

Jen Sass, Ph.D., Natural Resources Defense Council, attended today's FDA meeting. "While the final report is not due until November 30th, we are glad that they will be including biomonitoring studies and other health studies ignored in previous evaluations of BPA. Representatives from manufacturers who use BPA certainly turned out in force today." Accusations of industry influence on FDA decision making on BPA plagued the agency last year.

Janet Nudelman of the Breast Cancer Fund said, "The science on BPA is extensive and deeply troubling. We're encouraged that the FDA is re-assessing the safety of this toxic chemical, and we urge them to take into account all of the credible, peer-reviewed research on low-dose exposures."

Dr. Sarah Janssen, with Natural Resources Defense Council, said "Under new leadership, FDA has the opportunity to demonstrate that their evaluations can be based on the full scope of scientific evidence. The weight of evidence suggests that BPA is not safe in our food supply and exposure puts the public, especially children, at risk."

Suffolk, Schenectady, and Albany counties in New York have enacted the first county-level bans on BPA in children's products. Legislation that restricts BPA has been introduced in 21 states. In Congress, Senators Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Dianne Feinstein, D-CA., and Rep. Edward Markey, D-MA., have introduced bills to restrict BPA in food and beverage containers.

Similar restrictions have been enacted by the City of Chicago, Minnesota and Connecticut, with legislation pending in California. Recently, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued a warning to parents about BPA. Canada has declared BPA a toxic chemical and politicians in France are proposing a ban.

"Shoppers are refusing to buy BPA containing products that could put their families at risk," commented Urvashi Rangan, Ph.D., a toxicologist with Consumers Union. "But shopping discretion alone is not enough to protect the public. All consumers deserve the same protection from this harmful chemical. The FDA needs to act now."

For more information, you may find experts with direct contact information at www.louisvillecharter.org/BPAFDA81709advisory.shtml.

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