The Food and Drug Administration, true to form, has sided with the chemical industry and against independent scientists in determining the safety of Bisphenol-A, an ingredient in some plastics and in the lining of plastic cans.
It released a draft assessment, declaring the controversial chemical safe, Friday, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which has led the major media coverage of that and other chemicals, and the apparent bias the FDA has shown for industry studies that often are not peer-reviewed and published in scientific literature.
Independent research has uncovered worrying qualities to Bisphenol A; it mimics hormones, could affect normal development and reproduction and would have its most dramatic effects on young bodies undergoing rapid development. The list of potential effects is long and damning: breast and prostate cancer, obesity, diabetes, brain and liver damage.
In April, Canada became the first nation in the world to label Bisphenol A potentially hazardous. In the United States, top-level scientists at the National Toxicology Program have raised concerns. The Food and Drug Administration has appointed a panel to review the chemical's safety; until now, however, the FDA has favored hand-picked scientific reviews endorsed by the industry, rather than those peer reviewed by independent scientists. Wal-Mart and Toys R Us have pledged to phase out the sale of products containing Bisphenol A.
This Bill Moyers Journal video offers great background on the issue:
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