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Despite Environmentalist Requests the FDA won't Ban BPA

BY GOOD IS

The Food and Drug Administration announced yesterday that it won’t ban bisphenol A, the endocrine-disrupting chemical found in plastic and food products-not yet, at least.

In its decision, the agency emphasized that it is still reviewing the science on BPA, but that government scientists have no reason to believe it poses a health risk. But legions of environmental, consumer, and public health groups already are convinced that the chemical, which is found in more than 90 percent of Americans, poses a threat to humans.

The Natural Resources Defense Council had forced the decision with a petition requesting BPA be banned from contact with food. After the agency failed to respond, the group took the issue before a judge, who ordered the FDA to take action on the petition by March 31.

The ubiquity of BPA is unsettling. Studies have found the chemical in the blood of newborn babies, who absorbed it while still in utero. We consume the stuff every day: It leaches from can linings into our food and drink. It’s on cash-register receipts and smears on the fingertips of anyone who touches one. The stuff is everywhere and has proven hard to replace in products like canned tomatoes. Studies have linked the chemical to cancer and abnormal brain development. But the FDA "was not persuaded by the data and information" presented in NRDC’s petition, David H. Dorsey, the acting associate policy commissioner, wrote in the agency’s response. Read full article

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