Natural Foods Merchandiser

Risk assessments of bisphenol A remain mixed

Bisphenol A, a chemical used in plastics and resins for food and drink containers, including baby bottles, poses no serious threat to human reproduction, concluded a federal advisory panel in August that reviewed research on the chemical. But a different panel of scientists issued a statement a week earlier in the journal Reproductive Toxicology expressing concern about the use of BPA in food and beverage containers.

The consensus statement in Reproductive Toxicology said BPA is likely causing reproductive disorders in humans. The journal featured a new study from the National Institutes of Health finding uterine damage in newborn animals exposed to BPA, as well as five scientific reviews about the effects of BPA.

The federal advisory panel's conclusion, which forms the basis for possible future government regulations, expressed "some concern" that BPA exposure in ute?ro, and in infants and children, causes neural and behavioral effects. Panel members expressed only "minimal" or "negligible" concern about BPA's effects on the prostate, acceleration of puberty, birth defects and other adverse reproductive effects. The Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction, a division of the National Toxicology Program, will solicit public comments on the report before preparing a monograph for BPA.

Independent laboratory tests, spearheaded by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group and published earlier this year, found BPA in more than half of 97 cans of name-brand fruit, vegetables, soda, and other commonly eaten canned goods. The EWG reported that, of all the foods tested, chicken soup, infant formula and ravioli had BPA levels of highest concern. One to three servings of foods with the concentrations revealed in the tests could expose a woman or child to BPA levels that caused serious adverse effects in animal tests, according to the EWG.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 9/p. 25

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