LETTER: Claims of Bisphenol-A safety are questionable

Monday, January 26, 2009 | 9:34 a.m. CST; updated 7:12 a.m. CDT, Thursday, October 28, 2010

In his Jan. 21 letter to the editor, Robert Brackett , a lobbyist for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, wrote that the chemical Bisphenol-A “is one of the most tested materials in use today.”

What is not stated is that this is only because my colleagues and I at MU discovered that BPA was a potent sex-hormone (specifically estrogen) mimicking chemical in 1997, and since then hundreds of studies published by independent, academic and government scientists have confirmed that amounts of BPA to which over 90 percent of Americans are exposed cause abnormalities of the brain and behavior, prostate and mammary cancer, immune disorders and damage to the entire male and female reproductive system.

Diabetes and heart disease are related to BPA levels in people based findings from the   U.S. national health and examination survey. Sadly, 100 percent of chemical-industry funded studies conclude that BPA is completely safe, reminiscent of all tobacco-industry funded studies that concluded tobacco was safe.

Mr. Brackett’s statement that: “After 40 years of extensive scientific investigation, the evidence shows no basis for health concerns in humans” is blatantly false. BPA was approved by the FDA in 1963 with no information available about its health effects. This is similar to all other chemicals in food packaging for which there is no requirement that even minimal health testing occur prior to being used in products.

BPA is used in plastic packaging of baby food and to line cans containing infant formula. The U.S. National Toxicology Program determined that these uses place babies at risk for long-term adverse health effects. Mr. Brackett’s assurance of safety of BPA that is contradicted by a huge scientific literature is likely to result in the corporations in the Grocery Manufacturers Association suffering the same fate as the tobacco companies that engaged in the same strategy of deception.

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