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BPA bans gain impetus

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is facing growing pressure to reverse its decision that bisphenol A is safe.

A variety of states, including Connecticut, Illinois, California, Minnesota, Maryland, Massachusetts and Oregon, are currently considering banning BPA, a chemical used to line food containers and make baby bottles. Canada put BPA on its list of toxic substances last year and banned its use in baby bottles. And an international consortium of scientists is challenging the studies the FDA used to declare last October that BPA is OK for human use.

The group of 58 industry, academic and government scientists met last month in Germany and is planning to release a statement in the next few weeks, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The statement is expected to call for a much broader look at BPA, which mimics estrogen and has been linked in animal studies to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, infertility and behavioral disorders.

At issue is two studies that the FDA and the European Union used as the foundation for their BPA safety rulings. According to the Journal Sentinel, the author of the studies, Rochelle Tyl, said they weren't designed to comprehensively evaluate all of BPA's effects. Rather, the studies show no effects to the reproductive system of rats and mice that were exposed to low doses of the chemical.

Other scientists at the consortium pointed out discrepancies and inaccuracies in Tyl's studies, and agreed that the studies were too limited in their scope to be used as benchmarks for BPA safety, the Journal Sentinel reported.

FDA officials didn't respond to NFM's request for a comment on the consortium's findings.

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