If you happen to find a chemical that has been the subject of more wasted time and funding than bisphenol A (BPA), please let us know about it. We wish you luck.
Yet, there are academics and special interest groups that continue to look for Elvis. And they have some fairly high-powered journalists on their side, who just can t seem to accept the fact that this chemical used to make plastics for more than 50 years is not more or less dangerous to you than the thousands of other chemicals that we are exposed to in everyday life.
The anti-BPA movement hit (yet) another pothole yesterday, as the very cautious European Food Safety Authority weighed in.
They happened to say exactly what we have been saying all along: "BPA poses no health risk to consumers because current exposure to the chemical is too low to cause harm."
Go figure! A miniscule amount of a chemical just about any chemical, natural or manmade can actually be harmless despite that fact that is may (or may not) show some evidence of harm in an animal model when given in large doses.
ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom says, It s not like that this hasn t been known for 600 years, or anything. I take that back. It has.
Ironically, BPA has been in the news quite bit lately. This is because in the quest for a solution to a non-problem, its new replacement, BPS was found to be more harmful than BPA. Harmful is in quotes, because it is far from clear that either one poses any health threat whatsoever. But a group from the University of Calgary published a paper that demonstrated that BPS had more of an effect in provoking excitable behavior in zebrafish than did BPA. Although this smelled fishy, it made big headlines.
Dr. Bloom wrote about just this in his recent Science 2.0 piece BPA, BPS, BPD(uh), where he discussed the silliness of replacing a chemical that has been in use for more than 50 years, and has been tested to death, with one that has not.
He says, The sound you hear is a bunch of frantic Whole Foods employees tearing down the BPA-free signs that populate the store. They are certainly going to have to find something else for their plastic to be free of. It could be anything. Asbestos-free? Cyanide free? Zebra vomit-free?. I m sure they ll come up with something. Their marketing strategy is brilliant.