The Food and Drug Administration has indicated that it won't take any action to restrict the use of Bisphenol A, a chemical found in many plastics and in the lining of cans, which can leach into foods.
Academic scientists, and the U.S. National Toxilogical Program, have identified a litany of concerns about Bisphenol A, which mimics estrogen. Lab studies have linked exposure to everything from diabetes to abnormal development of fetuses. Tests find it in the urine of 90% of Americans tested. Canada has declared it hazardous and will ban its use in children's products. Many plastic baby bottle manufacturers in the United States have stopped using it, as have companies like Nalgene, the plastic water bottle-maker.
But the FDA, criticized for relying only on the chemical industry's safety assessments, will take no action to reduce public exposure to the ubiquitous chemical, according to the Washington Post.
The FDA pledged to review its health assessment for the chemical, in light of the independent research piling up, but it told the Post that it has no plans for anything but more studies at this point.
That could change when Barack Obama takes office. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which has been acting as a far more effective watchdog for the American public than the FDA, reports that leading advocates for a ban on Bisphenol A have already met with the transition staff, indicating that it's likely "the president-elect is open to making environmental health issues a higher priority than the Bush administration".
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