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Bisphenol A Safe, Says FDA

FDA Issues Draft Report on Bisphenol A Noting "Adequate Margin of Safety" in Typical Exposure From Food

View No. 3: The Precautionary Approach

Canadian health officials took what they called a "prudent" approach in April, when they proposed banning bisphenol A in baby bottles, although their risk assessment didn't find proof of danger.

"Canada really took the lead and said this is what the precautionary principle looks like," says Vogel. "It will be interesting to see how it plays out."

Hentges stresses the fact that the Canadian proposal isn't law yet and isn't based on science. "If you dig into the details of the science, you find that they're really quite similar -- Canada, NTP... Europe. None of them found those studies to be really compelling, none found them to be really suitable for making any kind of real conclusion."

Meanwhile, Vogel says the bisphenol A issue goes beyond baby bottles and water bottles. She's concerned about bisphenol A in the environment, workers who handle bisphenol A, and the government's chemical safety standards and risk assessment process.

"These are really big issues," says Vogel. She sees a larger tug of war between people's desire to "do what's right" and to be reassured that "everything is fine."

What to do in the meantime? Here's what the FDA told consumers in April, when the media frenzy began. It's advice that focuses only on baby bottles, not other sources of bisphenol A.

"At this time, FDA is not recommending that anyone discontinue using products that contain BPA while we continue our risk-assessment process. However, concerned consumers should know that several alternatives to polycarbonate baby bottles exist, including glass baby bottles."

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