We’ve long been warned of the potential hazards of BPA, which has estrogen-mimicking properties, so much so that manufacturers voluntarily stopped using it. Interestingly the FDA ban comes in response to a request from the plastics industry (American Chemistry Council), not consumer advocacy groups. It was in their best interests to quell the public’s fear about using plastic with babies.
A spokesperson said that the confusion about BPA and whether it was being used or not used “had become an unnecessary distraction to consumers, legislators and state regulators. FDA action on this request now provides certainty.”
But here’s what’s crazy — the government initially didn’t put a ban on BPA when the National Resource Defense Fund (NRDC) proposed such a measure. Apparently government scientists didn’t find evidence that it leached into our bodies in quantities that can harm us.
From NPR: “In one study, the scientists put people on a diet full of BPA from canned foods and juice in plastic containers. The researchers wanted to know whether the biologically active form of the chemical would get into the bloodstream where it might cause harm. It didn’t, said Justin Teeguarden, a senior research scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Lab in Richland, Washington. He says BPA in the blood remained ‘below our limit of detection.'”
Wait, they put humans on a diet of what?? Anyway….
According the Mayo Clinic website, though BPA had been deemed safe by the FDA, there was concern about its possible harmful effects on developing babies; “the National Toxicology Program at the Department of Health and Human Services says it has ‘some concern’ about the possible health effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. This level of concern is midway on its five-level scale, which ranges from serious to negligible. ”
Though the plastics lobby clearly played a hand in this, obviously consumer groups (aka mothers who wouldn’t buy plastic products for their babies) made life such hell for the plastic companies that the industry had to step in.
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