Last week the Food and Drug Administration did a 180 on its stance on bisphenol A (BPA), saying it had “concerns” about its use when it comes to fetuses, babies, and children. And maybe parents should avoid exposing their kids after all. The government even pledged $30 million toward research. They need to get to the bottom of things, I guess. The Wall Street Journal has a good article that explains the FDA’s non-announcement. (There isn’t even a press release on its Web site. You’d think the FDA would put out a fact sheet or something.)
I think the timing of this announcement-that-isn’t-an-announcement is interesting. It came in the form of a conference call on a Friday before a three-day weekend. A conference call so bloggers and other smaller media outlets couldn’t participate, I guess. I can almost hear their reasoning: “Hey, we put it out there. We did our job. It’s not our fault that we did it during earthquake coverage late on a Friday when many people are going away for the weekend.”
But for those people who do care, I like this reminder of what BPA does from a Washington Post article:
BPA, used to harden plastics, is so prevalent that more than 90 percent of the U.S. population has traces of it in its urine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Researchers have found that BPA leaches from containers into food and beverages, even at cold temperatures.
THIS is the part EVERYONE should really love:
One administration official privy to the talks said the FDA is in a quandary. “They have new evidence that makes them worried, but they don’t have enough proof to justify pulling the stuff, so what do you do?” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “You want to warn people, but you don’t want to create panic.”
What, you mean like you didn’t want to panic people when you realized that cigarettes kill? Or that asbestos causes all sorts of cancers? Or that saccharine, which is still on the market, causes cancer?
I’m really disgusted right now. Again, in my opinion the government is taking the side of big business — in this case the plastic manufacturers and the American Chemistry Council, which produces the stuff. You know it may be dangerous. (Heck, may is being nice.) You know that it’s a danger that can be avoided. And yet you take a half-stance. Don’t want to get sued by the plastic industry, I guess.
Want to learn more about avoiding the chemical? I’ve written several posts about what BPA does, and where it can be found. Take a look at them. You also might want to check out this fact sheet from the Department of Health and Human Services. Still not convinced? When the FDA says that they are “concerned” even in the face of big business, you should be very, very worried. It won’t be long, I don’t think, until the rest of the truth comes out. In the meantime, protect yourself, protect your kids, protect your family.