The FDA decided to stand up for science by rejecting alarmist hype that BPA (bisphenol A) is a dangerous threat to our health. Putting an end to years of speculation regarding the future of this chemical, the FDA rejected a petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to ban the use of BPA in food packaging. BPA is a widely-used component of many consumer products, and it also protects canned foods from contamination and spoilage; it has been safely used for decades.
Anticipating the FDA decision, activist hype alleging all sorts of health effects from trace levels of BPA has reached a crescendo over the past several months. Concerns raised included risk of cardiovascular disease, “hormone disruption,” and cancer from BPA exposure. Yet the FDA stood by their conclusion — in agreement with scientific bodies worldwide that have studied the subject — that the levels of BPA humans are exposed to in daily life do not pose any health risk.
“We applaud this sensible decision by the FDA,” says ACSH’s Dr. Gilbert Ross. “In the face of media hysteria and ideological scare tactics, to oppose the hype and stand up for science took courage.”
Despite the FDA’s sound decision, however, the agency stepped back from simply saying that BPA is safe, though we know based on decades of research that it is. “Although it is heartening that the FDA has finally publicly agreed that a BPA ban would serve no purpose,” observes ACSH’s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, “they still can’t get themselves to firmly make the statement that the use of BPA in such products is entirely safe.”