BPA – Not So Bad After All?

After weeks of conjecture among environmental groups and children’s advocates, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration decided it will not ban the plastic additive BPA from food and beverage packaging – yet. The agency based its decision on it own research, which showed much lower amounts of the chemical than previous studies found in breast milk and foods. (Read more.)

The FDA assigned its own scientists to examine BPA’s affects. They studied newborn mice and monkeys to find out how much BPA gets into breast milk. The scientists found an extremely low amount in the milk of nursing animals that consumed BPA. They also found that baby monkeys – closer than mice to human babies – can inactivate BPA in milk, making it harmless as it passes through the liver.

Yet another FDA lab studied 20 adults who gobbled BPA-packed food and drinks for a day. At the experiment’s end, toxicologist Justin Teeguarden found no detectable BPA in their blood.

The FDA’s findings don’t necessarily dispel all scientists’ worries. A 2008 Yale University study exposed monkeys to a BPA level that the Environmental Protection Agency deems safe for humans. “Our findings suggest that exposure to low-dose BPA may have widespread effects on brain structure and function,” the authors wrote in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

They noted that U.S. manufacturers produce 7 billion pounds of BPA annually. Internationally BPA is declining in popularity, both Canada and the European Union have laws prohibiting BPA. China claims it does not use BPA.

The FDA promised to continue studying  Bisphenol A .

What do you think of the FDA’s decision?