WHO: No reason to restrict BPA

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Here’s a story that you probably didn’t read in your morning newspaper: An international panel of experts meeting in Canada has rebuked the numerous bodies in recent years that have restricted the common plastic hardening chemical bisphenol A (BPA). The panel has concluded that the levels of BPA circulating in the human body “are very low, indicating that BPA is not accumulated in the body and is rapidly eliminated through urine.”

The panel went on to say:

A few recent experimental and epidemiological studies found associations between low BPA exposure levels and some adverse health outcomes. The meeting concluded that, at this stage, it is difficult to interpret the relevance of these studies in the light of current knowledge of this compound. Until these associations can be confirmed, initiation of public health measures would be premature. [emphases ours]

Much like the European Food Safety Authority’s evaluation earlier this year that there’s no need to revise safety standards for BPA — the third time it has concluded that in four years — this statement has been mostly ignored by the press...while Canada’s decision to label the chemical as “toxic” was widely reported.

“It’s just more evidence that if there’s good news, it doesn’t get covered,” says ACSH’s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan. “BPA is safe and poses no risk, as used, to human populations.”

ACSH’s Dr. Gilbert Ross adds: “In fact, every assessment of BPA by scientific panels has confirmed its safety for everyday exposures. Despite this, overly precautionary politically motivated authorities have initiated various measures restricting or even banning this safe and useful chemical.”

Over 30 experts attended the closed-door meeting in Ottawa convened by the World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, with support from the EFSA, Health Canada, the U.S. FDA and the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.