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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 04:23 AM
Original message
FDA says it's unable to regulate BPA (another reversal)
Source: Journal Sentinal

U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials say they are powerless to regulate BPA, although they have declared the chemical to be a safety concern for fetuses, babies and young children. A quirk in the rules allows BPA makers to skirt federal regulation. "We may have to go after legislation to change it," Joshua Sharfstein, the FDA's principal deputy director, told the Journal Sentinel. The newspaper has been investigating the government's lack of regulation regarding BPA for three years. FDA officials announced Friday that they had reversed their position that bisphenol A is safe. The chemical, used to line most food and beverage cans, has been found in the urine of 93% of Americans tested.

The agency now considers BPA to be of some concern for effects on the brain, behavior and prostate glands of fetuses and the very young. Scientific studies have raised concerns about the chemical's link to breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, reproductive failures and behavioral problems.

The FDA did not ban the chemical, although top scientists, including Linda Birnbaum, director of the National Toxicology Program, say they consider the safety of BPA to be uncertain. An agency source says some from within the FDA wanted to follow Canada's lead and ban it from baby bottles - or from the lining of infant formula cans - but administration officials have resisted, concerned that babies who rely on bottled formula would be left without healthy alternatives...

Officials say they would like chemical manufacturers to report information about the chemical to them, including how much BPA they produce and where and how it is used. But because BPA was classified years ago as an indirect food additive, it is not subject to the kind of scrutiny that other chemicals are. Without critical data about BPA, it is impossible to regulate the chemical, officials said.

Read more: http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/819019...



So now the administration can't protect its citizens against poisons in their food and drink?
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 04:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. So, I guess there are no formula fed babies in Canada? And they can't reclassify it in light of new
information? Unbelievable!
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:18 AM
Response to Original message
2. Posted these links in another recent thread.
This chemical is not just unsafe for the young. Never imagine we were going to have to shame this administration and Dem leaders to protect people.

BPA industry seeks to polish chemical's image
http://www.physorg.com/news162996203.html

Our Exposure to Controversial Chemical May be Greater than Dose Considered Safe
http://www.physorg.com/news163854340.html

Analysis of new data confirms bisphenol A link to disease in adults
http://www.physorg.com/news182581675.html

Bisphenol A exposure in pregnant mice permanently changes DNA of offspring
http://www.physorg.com/news163851615.html

Plastics component affects intestine: study
http://www.physorg.com/news180040630.html

Workplace BPA exposure increases risk of male sexual dysfunction
http://www.physorg.com/news177138050.html

Consumer advocates find BPA in food packaging
http://www.physorg.com/news176452061.html

BPA linked to aggressive behavior in young girls, research suggests
http://www.physorg.com/news174206428.html

Plastics chemical retards growth, function of adult reproductive cells
http://www.physorg.com/news166270806.html

Study finds reproductive health effects from low doses of bisphenol-A
http://www.physorg.com/news164453865.html

BPA May Cause Heart Disease In Women, Said Scientists Studying Rats
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/153478.php

This is just a small sample.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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april Donating Member (826 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #2
30. thank u so much for Links
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:20 AM
Response to Original message
3. The rationalizations amount to excuses.
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D-Lee Donating Member (457 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:30 AM
Response to Original message
4. Hey, it can take time to draft regs and make sure the agency has the authority
Sometimes, these things just can't happen overnight.

The study results were just announced this week.

Regulation drafting starts after the agency position is determined. And then there are those pesky time requirements that draft regs be posted for comment ...

And I've been avoiding BPAs for a long time now and switched to glass food storage.

Reality does lack those Harry Potter magic wands ...
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:11 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. We must ease into these decisions and let bureaucracy take its time
That is the much more civil and American way. I get what you are saying, but with many problems our government appears incapable of responding in a timely manner. Thankfully, we can go to war at the drop of a hat, am I right? Not directing that at you, I am very frustrated at the "way things are" being the enemy of the "way things should be". The HP magic wands comment is very irritating because it is so belittling and dismissive.

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." George Bernard Shaw
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Gman2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:46 PM
Response to Reply #4
31. Billshit, the system allows mfg to not divulge problems for 5 years.
Then, it relies on industry to do all the studies. The system is bunk. In five years, many could die. GOOD SYSTEM. Oh, and I am one of the dying.
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rfranklin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:37 AM
Response to Original message
5. No BPA for Baby Bottles in U.S.
No BPA For Baby Bottles In U.S.
6 Makers Announce Decision on Chemical

By Lyndsey Layton
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 6, 2009



The six largest manufacturers of baby bottles will stop selling bottles in the United States made with bisphenol A, a controversial chemical widely used in plastics but increasingly linked to a range of health effects.

The manufacturers declared their intentions after Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, joined by the attorneys general in Connecticut and New Jersey, wrote to the bottle makers and asked them to voluntarily stop using the chemical.

"The evidence seems too clear and emphatic and unequivocal to say we should simply permit this stuff to go into children on a massive scale," Blumenthal said yesterday. "And there's no reason for it, because there are substitutes available."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/20...
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:14 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. "And there's no reason for it, because there are substitutes available."
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FlaGranny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 06:38 AM
Response to Original message
6. Right!
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 06:39 AM by FlaGranny
BPA in food packaging is Obama's fault. Geez!

Edit: Sometimes I think I'm at the wrong site.
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:24 AM
Response to Reply #6
11. When a problem persists it becomes his problem.
Actually, his administration is accepting responsibility and it will be addressed. We will have to wait to see how aggressively and how much industry lobbying dilutes reform. If President Obama didn't want to be held responsible for these problems then he should not have run for President. When BPA is no longer in our foods, packaging, elsewhere, then he can take credit. I am in favor of turning up pressure and holding him responsible even though the problem did not begin under his administration.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:42 PM
Response to Reply #6
37. Makes you wonder what happened to DU, doesn't it?
I'm learning that a lot of Bush' former critics didn't actually have a problem with policy - they just dislike authority on principle, and it doesn't actually matter to them what policy actually is, 'cause they just make-believe anyway.
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Zoeisright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:19 AM
Response to Original message
9. So go after legislation to change it. Geez, that's a no-brainer.
Good god.
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Beavker Donating Member (784 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:24 AM
Response to Original message
10. It's no longer allowed in my home
We've banned it in our home regardless. Problem is, that this will make the BPA items cheaper, and again, the less educated and un-informed will suffer (I'm talking to you Teabaggers). Yet, it's exactly the kind of free market Capitalism they like.

Bring back Asbestos! I'm sick of paying those rediculous prices for my insulation!

Are there any tropical climates in Canada? Never mind, doesn't matter, it's looking better all the time as my next place of residence.

I'm getting tired of the MeSA. "Where's the "U" you ask? We don't care about "U"!
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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:31 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. How do you know what has BPA?
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 07:32 AM by fasttense
I got some glass bottles but they have plastic caps and plastic lining under the metal caps. Even some cans are lined with plastic. There is no way to totally remove the BPA from your diet. If you eat at a restaurant, how do you know they didn't use BPA covered plastics in your food prep?

The problem with BPA in plastic is that it is everywhere.
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. BPA exposure sources
It's hard to reduce your exposure
In 2008, Canada banned BPA use in baby bottles and took steps to minimize contamination of baby formula. Many states in the U.S. have been moving along the same path. In contrast, FDA has long stood in this issue on the side of the chemical industry, failing to protect the public from the health risks of BPA. Aggravated by the FDA's inaction, consumers have taken matters into their own hands, seeking out BPA-free products. Many manufacturers eagerly responded to the consumer demand and started offering BPA-free options. But is buying a BPA-free water bottle and avoiding canned food a sufficient measure for getting away from BPA exposure? Scientists were puzzled why bodies of so many Americans are polluted with BPA. Although plastics are ubiquitous in our society, not everybody is eating canned food and drinking water out of polycarbonate plastic bottles every day.

BPA exposures from new, unexpected sources
As reported by the Journal Sentinel, "The research indicates for the first time that people are either constantly being bombarded with bisphenol A from non-food sources, such as receipts and plastic water piping, or they are storing the chemical in fat cells, unable to get rid of it as quickly as scientists have believed." The reference to receipts is fascinating - it is a little known fact that ordinary shopping receipts contain high levels of BPA, which smears on fingers and may end up being ingested or transferred into the body through the skin.

http://www.enviroblog.org/2009/02/bpa-exposure-sources....
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:05 AM
Response to Original message
14. Water.
We're given studies that show that the water from our taps isn't "safe", "pure", free from contamination of bacteria, residue of medications in the water. So we buy water that comes in plastic with BPA. What's left? Water in glass bottles only? Perrier is a pricey option of just water. And at least 8 cups a day.
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:36 AM
Response to Reply #14
18. Tapwater if it isn't contaminated or purify it at home
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 09:39 AM by Mithreal
and carry it around in stainless steel BPA free bottles?

We are looking at getting an RO unit. A well reviewed whirlpool model is around $150. The only consideration with that is cost and waste water. Haven't bought it yet though. Not certain on the cheaper methods whether they remove BPA.

http://ecochildsplay.com/2008/04/17/10-ways-to-avoid-to... /

10 Tips to Reduce Your Exposure to BPA

1. Only use glass baby bottles and dishes for your baby (and yourself)

2. Give your baby natural fabric toys instead of plastic ones

3. Store your food and beverages not plastic containers

4. IF you choose to use a microwave, dont microwave food in a plastic container

5. Stop buying and consuming canned foods and drinks

6. Avoid using plastic wrap (and never microwave anything covered in it)

7. Get rid of your plastic dishes and cups, and replace them with glass varieties

8. If you opt to use plastic kitchenware, at least get rid of the older, scratched-up varieties, avoid putting them in the dishwasher, and dont wash them with harsh detergents, as these things can cause more chemicals to leach into your food

9. Avoid using bottled water; filter your own using a reverse osmosis filter instead

10. Before allowing a dental sealant to be applied to your, or your childrens, teeth, ask your dentist to verify that it does not contain BPA
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
15. Dupe. Sorry
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 08:06 AM by no_hypocrisy
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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
16. I Guess Coakley's Doing Better In Their Internal Polling nt
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:52 AM
Response to Original message
17. There is a solution, an amazing new chemically inert substance for containers.
Early reports indicate that it will be marketed under the name "Glass."
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Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #17
24. with mammary glands you don't need baby bottles
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #24
28. I think the problem will turn out to be larger than it now looks,
and not confined to infants.
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Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:05 PM
Response to Reply #28
35. DEHP is bad too
plasticizer
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FVZA_Colonel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
19. How the hell'd this "quirk" come about in the first place?
And what other products might it affect?
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cory777 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:44 PM
Response to Original message
20. See "F.D.A. Concerned About Substance in Food Packaging"
I love the general discussion board.
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TheWraith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:54 PM
Response to Original message
21. Gosh, that "law" thing is awfully tricky. I'm sure dictatorship would be easier.
:sarcasm:

Fortunately, my Senator is on this, with legislation pending. You know, what happens when you don't expect the President to be God.
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Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:21 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. I'm glad that your senator is on it
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. Yeah, I am sure that is it. People expect the President to be god.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #27
39. Yeah, a lot of people do
Which is funny, since the same people accuse others of thinking Obama is the "Messiah" - project much?

Basic train of thought is that Obama is single-handedly responsible for everything and that he has all the power i nthe world to change laws, make new laws, throw decisions around, force rulings... And because he doesn't, he MUST be an evil liar manipulating us all.

Pretty much every third fucking post on DU these days follows this train of thought.

It's disgusting, it's stupid, and it makes this entire community stink like freerepublic.
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Mithreal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 03:05 PM
Response to Reply #39
40. You are exaggerating on nearly every point, admit it.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 03:13 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. Afraid I'm not
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 03:13 PM by Chulanowa
Except for maybe the stink part. DU at least has the courtesy to confine the overt racists to the I/P forums, which is more than freerepublic can say.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 04:37 PM
Response to Reply #21
42. This is not an interpretation shared by everyone (not even everyone at the FDA)
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 04:38 PM by depakid
Good luck getting any such new authority through the Senate. Some newly empowered extortionist backed by the American Plastics Council will see to that that.
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Goldstein1984 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:06 PM
Response to Original message
22. Long-term and short-term BPA Activism
I work as an environmental, health & safety engineer, and what I've seen over and over again in my career is that public awareness and activism drive both regulatory and industry change. Politically, I would not suggest sitting back and trusting the Bureaucracy to solve the problem--Power gives nothing without a demand.

Children are at greatest risk because their bodies are developing and because they have a lifetime during which environmental toxins can produce effects. Do what you can to limit their exposure. Substitute frozen vegetables for canned vegetables. Take a little time to soak and cook beans, rather than using them from a can. Look for food products in BPA-free containers. At home, use BPA-free containers and toys.

And get ready for the inevitable: In ten years, you will most likely learn that the materials you substituted contain their own environmental toxins.

Most important, send letters to manufacturers using BPA-containing materials telling them that you are avoiding there products.

My family had no trouble finding lots of BPA-free products to use. And there are plenty of BPA-containing products (e.g. CDs and DVDs) that pose no risk to human health the way they are used. From an environmental perspective, the BPA problem is completely integrated with other waste management problems. The more "stuff" we use, the more environmental toxins we generate.

Another link with some information. This site is definitely on the industry side regarding BPA use and safety, but over the years, regardless of the issue, I've found that the truth usually lies somewhere between the extremes:

http://www.bisphenol-a.org/about/faq.html#b
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truth2power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #22
26. What is the number inside the recycling triangle on plastic
containers that contain BPA? I read this awhile ago, but can't remember.
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Goldstein1984 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #26
38. The number inside the recycling triangle
is used for sorting the plastics.

Plastics are polymers (long chains) of basic molecular building blocks. For example, propylene is polymerized into polypropylene; ethylene is polymerized into polyethylene; et cetera.

The difference types of plastic have to be recycled according to type. The number is the quick guide for soring.

There is a new plastic, made from corn, called polylactic acid (lactic acid from corn fermentation polymerized into PLA). While I think corn ethanol is a joke, PLA plastic is completely biodegradable. The company doing the best work with PLA in Natureworks, LLC. I nearly went to work for them as their environmental engineer and public spokesperson, but may family wanted to leave Nebraska and return to Alaska. Working for them would have been the easiest thing in the world--good people, good product. I was pleased to see their plastic drink cups showing up in environmentally conscious businesses in Alaska.

PLA is used for children's products and medical supplies. A good alternative to other plastics for both health and environmental reasons.

NOTE: Lactic acid is a common biological molecule. Build-up of LA in muscles during anaerobic exercise is why we get cramps when we metabolize faster than we can bring in oxygen. It's easily metabolized.
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truth2power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #38
43. I'm sorry. My fault for not communicating more clearly...
Edited on Sun Jan-17-10 07:21 PM by truth2power
What I meant was, which number denotes a plastic container as containing bisphenol-A. When this whole issue went public some months ago, there was an article that told consumers what to look for in terms of the # on the bottom of a container that signified BPA.

I'm sorry for the confusion. I should read what I type. :blush:



edit> Thanks for the background info, though.
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Danmel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. Polycarbonate plastics contain Bpa
And are marked with the number 7.

I live in Suffolk county which last March became the first jurisdiction in the nation to ban sale of baby bottles and cups with
BPA. We faced heavy industry opposition. Many jurisdictions have followed. New York senators have introduced a bill to do the same.
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Goldstein1984 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 09:56 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. Yes. The #7 designation is for "other"
Polycarbonate bottles really can't be recycled.

As a person who used to do a lot of epidemiology (primarily for foodborne illnesses, but occasionally for chemical intoxication, I tend to have an objectivity about this kind of topic that annoys activists. Chemicals like BPA work over time; second, as our; ability for measuring chemicals allows us to measure smaller and smaller concentrations, out tolerance for chemicals in our environment tends to become correspondingly lower and lower, whether or not we have evidence of toxicity/carcinogenicity/mutagenicity/ et cetera; having been through this drill several times with other chemicals, we often are just replacing a chemical we have adentified as a potential problem with on that we have yet to identify; finally, the expense of replacing chemicals, or just doing without them, is often greater than using them.

As example of a negative consequence from banning a chemical was the Alar scare. Suddently, there was nationwide hysteria over the use of a chemical that had limited toxicity, and the chemical was banned. What resulted was that the lack of use of Alar reducced the shelf life of apples, which made them more expensive, which reduced there consumption (especially among the poor), which reduced the average dietary intake of phytochemicals in apples. The reduced intake of phytochemicals had a larger negative impact on health than Alar was having.

I'm not an industry apologist by any means, just an environmental health professional who has seen this scenario before. We elimated BPA from our household, especially BPA in food containers used by our grandchildren, but only because replacements were readily available and relatively inexpensive.

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Danmel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 09:10 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. Bpa was found in measureable levels
In 93 percent of the population. That is disconcerting because the industry has always claimed that BPA is rapidly excreted. As an endocrine disputor, BPA is linked to many disorders, including cancer,diabetes,early puberty & obesity.
I am proud that Suffolk County led the way on this issue and hope that a national consensus will lead to a broader ban in food applications.
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Goldstein1984 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-18-10 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. I understand.
I'm aware of all of the health effects associated with BPA. As somebody who works in this field (health, not plastics), I just understand that risk is often poorly characterized and poorly understood. PBA is not one I think is worth panicking about. Consumer pressure is doing a fine job of eliminating the product from high-risk applications.

My family eliminated BPA-containing products, as well. But it wasn't done with any sense of urgency. There seems to be a national consensus building.

Taking a look at the molecule, I understand why some would expect it to be rapidly excreted, but I can also see how it might not be.
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Rosa Luxemburg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
23. campaigns in France and England to ban it
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earcandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
29. Our standards have become third world because of these fucks in our government. Better get them out.
And feed your babies baked apples and filtered water. 
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Pharaoh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:47 PM
Response to Original message
32. That's because the corporations
control the government! Duh!! K&R
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santamargarita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:51 PM
Response to Original message
33. Money trumps everything
n/t
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pnwmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:01 PM
Response to Original message
34. So, with an "indirect food additive," anything goes? That's comforting. n/t
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HiFructosePronSyrup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
36. Isn't this a matter for the EPA rather than the FDA?
:shrug:
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