Knock, knock…FDA?! Are you awake?

The scenario:  Sunday morning.  Breakfast table.  Family eating.  Kids giggling.  Coffee drinking.  Newspaper reading.  (cute little picture, huh?)

Then, a small snippet in the newspaper gives me a bigger jolt than my coffee.  The Canadian government has banned BPA in baby bottles because it is deemed toxic.  Well, round of applause for Canada, but what in the heck are they looking at that the US refuses to see?

I’ve mentioned my fear of BPA (bisphenol A) so many times, but it continues to rattle me.  The FDA needs a vigorous shaking to wake up and ‘taste’ the danger. Of course, the chemical industry maintains that bottles contain little BPA and are safe for use – sure they want us to believe that… what else would we expect them to say.

But Canada based this decision on 150 (150!!!) worldwide studies.  How much more evidence do we need?  Well, would you believe the FDA says they are awaiting word from yet another scientific panel expected to deliver an independent risk assessment later this month.

Wow.  So do you really think they’ll change their tune after assessment 151…!?!  Don’t count on it.

(*Don’t wait for “studies”. If you are looking for BPA-free baby bottles, check here.  It’s a great list!)

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4 thoughts on “Knock, knock…FDA?! Are you awake?

  1. I learned that after a “mistake” decades ago, the FDA won’t act on research until it has conducted it’s own, regardless of how many previous studies had been done. It’s ridiculous, but I guess that’s the only way they can feel accountable?!
    If I had a little one, I’d play it safe. (and do for my personal BPA-free water bottle, which is tap-filled each morning).

    Robert Rowes last blog post..Put it to good use.. [Blog Action Day, 2008]

  2. Recently, numerous publications have been writing about the dangers of BPA and phthalates and many companies are jumping on board promoting baby bottles and other plastics as BPA free.

    Moms everywhere are ditching their baby bottles, binkies and sippy cups for newly marketed BPA-free ones. However, BPA and phthalates are just two of several hundred chemicals that exhibit estrogenic activity (EA) in plastics. Estrogenic activity occurs when chemicals are ingested that mimic or block the actions of naturally occurring estrogens, the female sex hormone. Studies have proven the fetus, newborn and young child is particularly vulnerable. Health-related problems as a result of estrogenic activity include: early puberty in females, reduced sperm counts in males, altered functions of reproductive organs, obesity, altered behaviors and increased rates of some breast, ovarian, testicular and prostate cancers.

    Chemicals having EA leach from almost all plastics sold today. That is, plastics advertised as BPA-free or phthalate-free are not EA-free. Almost all these plastics still leach chemicals that contain EA. In fact, our data at PlastiPure show that all the plastics commercially available today do release chemicals with easily detectable EA. The FDA has yet to examine this broader problem. The amount that leaches from any one item may be small, but the cumulative effect of leaching from many items is significant and can be detected in the blood and tissues of almost all of us. And our children are the most susceptible.

    Unfortunately, current legislation is attempting to solve this problem by removing chemicals having EA like BPA and phthalates just one at a time. This approach is ineffective since thousands of chemicals still used in plastics exhibit EA, not just BPA and phthalates.

    The appropriate health-driven solution is to manufacture safer plastics that are completely EA-free. This is not a pie-in-the-sky solution, as the technology already exists to produce EA-free plastics that also have the same advantageous physical properties, as do almost all existing plastics on the market today. In fact, some of these advanced-technology EA-free plastics are already in the marketplace. The cost of safer, EA-free plastics is just pennies more than EA-releasing plastics when both are used to manufacture the same product in similar quantities.

  3. Robert – you’re probably right…but just curious… which particular mistake were you referring to?

    George – wow… thanks for that info. It’s shocking, eye-opening and quite disturbing too.

  4. My uncle required a surgical procedure (fusing herniated discs because of degeneration), and the US wasn’t “approved” to do it, so he had to travel to Germany. His insurance told him that because of a botched study done in Sweden years before, the United States would not do the procedure nor offer the prescriptions required for the procedure until it had completed it’s own studies.
    I wish I had more info on their policies, but just hearing that, makes me want to err on the side of caution.

    Robert Rowes last blog post..Put it to good use.. [Blog Action Day, 2008]

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