Tuesday October 14, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) -- Connecticut
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal along with the Attorneys general from New
Jersey and Delaware on Monday sent a letter to 11 baby bottle and formula
container manufacturers asking them to voluntarily stop using bisphenol A or
BPA in their products because this chemical is potentially harmful to infants.
The Food and Drug Administration has shown its reluctance
to ban BPA and Blumenthal criticized the FDA for declining to act after evidence
has emerged to suggest there is some concern about the safety of BPA containing
The FDA seems to be listening to the industry who
conducted two controversial studies disproving the link between BPA and disease
and refuses to heed warnings from nonindustry scientists, according to
"Right now, our tentative conclusion is that it’s
safe, so we’re not recommending any change in habits," Laura Tarantino,
head of the FDA’s office of food additive safety was quoted by newsinferno.com
BPA is used in plastics as a hardening agent.
The nice and transparent polycarbonate
plastics are commonly used in food and beverage containers.
But the concern is growing as more studies has
come to an agreement that exposure to even a very low level of BPA could harm
fetuses and infants.
The risk has been officially recognized by the National
Toxicology Program, an agency under the Department of Health. The NTP says
"The NTP has some concern for effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate
gland in fetuses, infants, and children at current human exposures to bisphenol
"Unfortunately the federal agency, the Federal Food
and Drug Administration, has been asleep at the switch, in fact resistant to
respecting the scientific evidence that grave harm can result in use of this
product," Blumenthal was quoted as saying.
Early studies suggest that bisphenol A or BPA may damage
the brain, reproductive system and immune system.
A new observation study now suggests that
the chemical may raise risk of heart disease, diabetes and liver malfunctions,
two major diseases that plague developed countries.
The study was published in the Journal of the American
Medical Association. Researchers from the UK and the University of Iowa analyzed
data on the BPA level in the urine samples from 1,455 men and women and found
the disturbing associations.
The researchers found those in the quartile with the
highest levels of BPA were three times as likely to have cardiovascular disease
and 2.4 times as likely to have diabetes as those in the quartile with the
lowest level. Those with highest levels were also found at higher risk of
abnormal levels of three liver enzymes.
In the letters, Blumenthal was quoted as saying "The
preventable release of a toxic chemical directly into the food we eat is
unconscionable and intolerable."
The recipients of the letters include baby bottle
manufacturers Avent America Inc., Disney First Years, Gerber, Handicraft Co.,
Playtex Products Inc., and Evenflo Co., and formula makers Abbott, Mead
Johnson, PBM Products, Nature’s One, and Wyeth.
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