Heart fears over common chemical
Bisphenol A is commonly used in food packaging
Higher levels of a chemical often found in plastic food and drink
packaging are associated with cardiovascular disease and diabetes, a
study has suggested.
The group with the highest levels of Bisphenol A (BPA) in their urine
were found to be more than twice as likely to have diabetes or heart
But the Journal of the American Medical Association research did not
show that Bisphenol A caused the conditions.
And a UK toxicology expert stressed the study's findings were
This was the article in local paper saying FDA still considers BPA
I've been following and have been concerned that BPA has demonstrated
undesirable effects in animals even at low concentration. OTOH, as a
polymer chemist, I worked with the stuff for years and probably had
exposure thousands of times beyond public with no ill effect. I know
of no epi studies with BPA workers and companies are obliged under
TSCA to disclose problems with workers.
Still think it is a good idea to reduce childhood exposure like
through not using plastic feeding bottles or cups. Other sources of
exposure may be epoxy resins in coatings or seals in cans or jars.
I would think prudence would be in order. Even as the FDA (which has
been susceptible to the influence of lobbyists) was ducking a
definitive statement, it was telling people how to avoid BPAs.
"Right now, our tentative conclusion is that it's safe, so we're not
recommending any change in habits," said Laura Tarantino, head of the
FDA's office of food additive safety. But she acknowledged, "there are a
number of things people can do to lower their exposure."
For example, consumers can avoid plastic containers imprinted with the
recycling number '7,' as many of those contain BPA. Or, said Tarantino,
they can avoid warming food in such containers, as heat helps to release
BPA isn't toxic in the arsenic sense of the word but it is classified
by "some" as a endocrine disrupter.
For those who are concerned about BPA I would suggest
The general public might like to know that in order to get food
contact approval for a plastic from the FDA, a petitioning process is
undergone where the manufacturer presents all his process data,
toxicity studies on the plastic and toxicity on extracts of his
material under simulated food contact. It is possible to miss some
subtle effect but important things like effect on animal birth is
studied. Since peoples lives do not depend on the product like with
medicinals it can take many years to get approval. One I was
observing for a simple polyester must have taken 10 years.
The public should also appreciate that major toxicity problems with
foods reside in the food itself and not the packaging.
Additives to the food itself are also more of a concern. Then there
is such as some ot the criminal activity out of China with pet food
and baby formula where food was adulterated with cheap materials.
Here's a link to the code of federal regulations for food contact and
Depends. Large chemical company like DuPont has/had reputable
toxicology lab (Haskell Labs) and could do complete testing. Other
companies would farm out. All data and results are reviewed by the
FDA. When it comes to the ultimate product, it is the obligation of
the manufacturer to test the final item.
Fox guarding the hen house. That is a major problem with the current
FDA. In case after case, it has been shown repeatedly that companies
have hidden data showing defects and health/life-threatening
characteristics of their own products. At the same time, they have
exaggerated health claims. Vioxx, Vytorin, Avandia.... to name a few.
Tell that to all the microwave popcorn workers who died or whose lungs
have been damaged because of the popcorn packaging.
A significant number of the CFRs having to do with public health and
safety--- things that cost companies money--- have been rewritten and
weakened in especially the last eight years. Public involvement in the
regulatory process has been thwarted by the Bush administration in
particular which has curtailed public notice, hearings, and comment
periods. And then there are the secret White House meetings with
industry heads that have set the momentum for such actions. The Freedom
of Information Act (FOIA) and many State-enacted Sunshine Laws are often
ignored. That so much information is hidden speaks volumes about the
contempt for the citizenry.
"I will show you fear in a handful of dust"
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