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Panel Weighs Bisphenol A Report

Advisory Panel Mostly Agrees With Government's Draft Brief, but Recommends Key Changes

Board's Chairwoman Comments continued...

"Different people respond to concern differently," says McCarver. "There are always things you can do to minimize risk. If you're a mother of a young infant, you can use glass containers. You can choose to use less canned food in your house -- commonsense approaches.

"We do have some concerns with this compound, but we also recognize that if we eliminate the compound and bring in other compounds, we may have other problems," says McCarver, adding that "there are some important plastic compounds that protect children.

"I'm not a regulator and this is not a regulatory statement," says McCarver. "The people who will be making the regulatory decisions have a lot to consider."

Public Comments on BPA Report

The advisory panel also reviewed public comments on the NTP's draft report.

Those comments, posted on the NTP's web site, range from private citizens outraged that bisphenol A hasn't been banned, to scientists debating the choice of research covered in the report, to industry groups arguing that the research in the report is flawed and doesn't translate to human risk, to environmental groups and scientists expressing even more concern than the report.

The public comments also include a letter from the American Academy of Pediatrics that expresses "deep concern" that scientific evidence is "largely insufficient to draw accurate conclusions on the safety of exposure to BPA, particularly with respect to vulnerable populations including pregnant women, infants, and children."

Bisphenol A Controversy

Bisphenol A, also called BPA, has become a concern for some consumers, and some retailers are backing away from bisphenol A in baby bottles.

In April, retailers including Wal-Mart and Toys 'R' Us, pledged to phase out baby bottles containing BPA. Nalgene ditched bisphenol A in its reusable water bottles.

Also in April, Canada's government proposed banning BPA in baby bottles although babies fed through polycarbonate bottles exposed to high temperatures aren't exposed to risky amounts of bisphenol A.

And now, the FDA is revisiting bisphenol A's safety. That review is separate from the NTP's work.

All along, the American Chemistry Council and other industry groups have maintained that bisphenol A is safe and that concerns about bisphenol A are unfounded. For instance, the American Chemistry Council notes that some BPA research has involved injecting bisphenol A into rodents, whereas people get exposed to bisphenol A orally.

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