The FDA has finally made their ruling on the NRDC petition to ban Bisphenol A (BPA) found in food packaging. I say finally, because NRDC submitted said petition almost 4 years ago. It took this long, and a lawsuit, to get the FDA to make a decision.
In any case, NRDC asked the FDA to prohibit the use of BPA in human food and packaging and to revoke regulations permitting the use of BPA as an additive in food products and packaging.
The news is not good though. The FDA states:
“The information provided in the citizen petition was not sufficient to persuade FDA to initiate this rulemaking. The most appropriate course of action at this time is to continue scientific study and review of all new evidence regarding the safety of BPA. Although FDA was not persuaded by the data and information in the NRDC citizen petition to initiate rulemaking to revoke the food additive approvals for BPA, FDA will continue in its broader and more comprehensive review of emerging data and information on BPA. Depending on the results, any of these studies or data could influence FDA’s assessment and future regulatory decisions about BPA.”
Personally, I’m not even a little bit surprised. Disappointed, but not surprised. The chemical industry and food industry have both made major attempts to downplay NRDC’s petition and they have more clout than parents with the FDA. Canada, the European Union, China, and at least five other countries as well as 11 U.S. states, all have prohibited the use of BPA in children’s products. Yet, still the FDA thinks BPA is good to go in food, which is insane considering more than 90% of Americans have BPA stores in their bodies, mostly due to leeching BPA from food packaging.
Dr. Sarah Janssen, senior scientist in the public health program at the Natural Resources Defense Council made the following statement:
“BPA is a toxic chemical that has no place in our food supply. We believe FDA made the wrong call. The agency has failed to protect our health and safety – in the face of scientific studies that continue to raise disturbing questions about the long-term effects of BPA exposures, especially in fetuses, babies and young children. The FDA is out-of-step with scientific and medical research. This illustrates the need for a major overhaul of how the government protects us against dangerous chemicals.”
I’ll update this issue more after the end of the month, but for now to get the whole scoop read: FDA Rejects NRDC Petition to Ban BPA in Food Packaging.
By the way, the recent pink slime ordeal shows that parent voices can make a difference, so there’s no reason to just sit back and accept the FDA’s decision.
Image by Flickr User p_a_h