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General Health : Government Last Updated: Apr 20, 2011 - 9:38:09 AM

FDA failed in assessing BPA risk, panel says
By Sue Mueller
Oct 29, 2008 - 8:54:31 AM

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Wednesday October 29, 2008 ( -- The Food and Drug Administration failed to properly assess the potential safety risk from the plastic chemical called bisphenol A or BPA, a report by a panel of FDA advisers says.


The FDA said early in August that BPA is safe at current exposure levels while the National Toxicology Program, a Department of Health and Human Services agency, found that the chemical poses a risk to children.


The FDA scientific advisers said in their report that the FDA staff only considered the industry-sponsored studies that found bisphenol A is safe while ignoring others that found there was a risk at the current exposure levels.


FDA staff "considered, but rejected for various reasons, a number of potentially relevant studies,'' a subcommittee of the FDA Science Board said in the report, which will be reviewed by the full Science Board on Oct 31.


FDA staff said, cited by "the industry studies met stricter scientific guidelines".


Canada has banned use of bisphenol A in food containers due to its toxicity.


But the FDA said in a statement released along with the panel's report that Canadian regulators acted "out of an abundance of caution'' but acknowledged   that "Health Canada's assessment of bisphenol A on newborns and infants up to 18 months of age concludes that exposure levels are below the levels that could cause health effects.''


The BPA subcommittee chair is Dr. Martin Philbert, acting director of the Risk Science Center at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.


Lawmakers have raised questions about ties between Dr. Philbert and the chemical industry, because Representative Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat was cited by was saying that the center received grants of $15 million from Dow Chemical Co, a manufacturer of BPA.

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