After standing by their controversial position that Bisphenol A (BPA) is safe in baby bottles and other consumer products, the FDA indicates that they will now review additional research and may carry out further studies on the potential long term health impact of the chemical.
Bisphenol A, which is commonly referred to as BPA, is used in a variety of consumer products, such as baby bottles, sports bottles, food containers and the liners of some cans. It is used to harden plastic and to prevent leaks or bacterial contamination in the canning industry.
Several studies have suggested that long-term exposure to low doses of Bisphenol A in consumer products could pose long term health risks in humans. As a result, several consumer groups and lawmakers in the United States have called on baby product manufacturers to stop using the chemical and the use of BPA in baby bottles was banned in Canada.
The FDA has consistently maintained their position that Bisphenol A is safe at the levels currently found in plastic baby bottles and other consumer products. However, the agency has been criticized by various experts who indicate that the study relied on by the FDA was funded by the chemical industry and other independent studies were not taken into account.
In September 2008, the National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a final report about the safety of Bisphenol A, indicating that there is “some concern” that the plastic chemical may cause problems with development and health.
An advisory panel of outside experts was convened by the FDA on September 16, 2008 to discuss the potential health concerns and safety of BPA in consumer products.
The panel concluded that the agency’s statement that BPA was safe in baby bottles and other products does not consider all available and credible evidence, indicating that “the margins of safety defined by the FDA as ‘adequate’ are, in fact, inadequate.”
According to a letter from the FDA released on Monday, the agency is now re-evaluating its research on Bisphenol A and determining whether additional studies are needed to look into the safety of the chemical. However, this does not necessarily mean that the FDA plans to change their stance on Bisphenol A safety.