The lumbering Food and Drug Administration is finally showing signs that it may take action on bisphenol A, better known as BPA. The FDA announced yesterday that it is reviewing new studies of the chemical and expects to rule by November 30 on whether BPA is safe for food and beverage containers, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
That’s too slow for some activists, such as scientist Olga Naidenko of the Environmental Working Group, which has long fought for a BPA ban. The FDA is “working to stall science rather than advance it,” she tells the newspaper.
But other observers such as Liz Hitchcock, a lobbyist with the Public Interest Research Group, “were heartened that the FDA was taking another look,” writes the Journal Sentinel.
The Milwaukee paper has been on top of the story for a while, having published an investigative series about BPA and other pervasive household chemicals. Among other angles, the stories have called out the FDA for relying on studies financed by the plastics industry and dug up e-mails showing collusion between FDA scientists and lobbyists for BPA makers in writing safety guidelines. This is the kind of invaluable investigative journalism that’s fast disappearing.
The FDA’s review will include more than 100 new studies.
Sources: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Environmental Working Group, Public Interest Research Group