Wednesday, October 29, 2008

FDA Statement on Release of Bisphenol A (BPA) Subcommittee Report

We appreciate the hard work and long hours the subcommittee has invested in scientific peer review of the FDA’s draft safety assessment of the use of BPA in food contact applications. The FDA requested this peer review to provide additional insight into this complex issue. This group of distinguished scientists has devoted their considerable knowledge and experience to this effort.

The subcommittee report to the Science Board raises important questions regarding the draft safety assessment, and the FDA looks forward to the review of the subcommittee's report by the Science Board on Oct 31.

The FDA agrees that, due to the uncertainties raised in some studies relating to the potential effects of low dose exposure to bisphenol A, additional research would be valuable. The FDA is already moving forward with planned research to address the potential low dose effects of bisphenol A, and we will carefully evaluate the findings of these studies.

Consumers should know that, based on all available evidence, the present consensus among regulatory agencies in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Japan is that current levels of exposure to BPA through food packaging do not pose an immediate health risk to the general population, including infants and babies.

Regarding Canada, the FDA notes that Health Canada’s assessment of bisphenol A on newborns and infants up to 18 months of age concludes that exposure levels are below the levels that could cause health effects. Out of an abundance of caution, the Government of Canada has taken steps to restrict the use of BPA.

Parents who, as a precaution, wish to use alternatives for their bottle-fed babies can use glass and other substitutes for polycarbonate plastic bottles; avoid heating formula in polycarbonate plastic bottles; and consult their pediatrician about switching to powdered infant formula.

For a copy of the Subcommittee Report, go to:

Statement of the Acting Surgeon General, Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H.

"The most important thing parents can do for their babies is ensure that they receive adequate nutrition. While the best source of nutrition for babies is the mother's breast milk, infant formula remains the recommended alternative when breast milk is not an option."

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