A front-page article in the Washington Post yesterday brought to light an alarming revelation: the FDA has relied on just two scientific studies, both funded by a chemical industry trade group, in declaring bisphenol A safe. The agency has ignored the more than 100 peer-reviewed, journal-published articles saying just the opposite: not only is BPA not conclusively safe, it is linked to increased rates of breast and prostate cancer, among other alarming diseases.
It's vindicating to see this in print, but it's been too long in coming. We've known that the FDA relied on industry studies for BPA safety data, as it does for other industries, including cosmetics. But far too many people for too long have blindly followed the FDA and industry party line on BPA, allowing additional years of unnecessary exposure to this dangerous chemical.
I'm not talking simply about individuals buying Nalgene water bottles or Gerber baby bottles; I'm talking about the opinion-makers in the media, regulators unwilling to take the first plunge and companies trying to maintain their brand images.
Rather than inspiring guilt and shopper's paralysis among parents, weekend athletes or fans of canned pasta, we're working to make sure government regulators do their jobs of protecting us all from toxic chemicals. The burden of proof of harm shouldn't be foisted on citizens, nor should advocates and scientists have to point out to the FDA that it's not looking at all the available evidence.