For three years, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has written about the government’s failure to regulate bisphenol A (BPA). Now, even as the agency retracts its previous contention that BPA is safe, troubling new evidence surfaces regarding the FDA’s inaction.
According to Meg Kissinger of the Journal Sentinel, FDA “officials say they are powerless to regulate BPA. A quirk in the rules allows BPA makers to skirt federal regulation.” FDA officials had told the newspaper they were frustrated by the antiquated framework of the FDA’s regulatory process.
Kissinger continues: “An agency source says some from within the FDA wanted to follow Canada’s lead and ban [BPA] 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.”
“They couldn’t take it off the shelves when there aren’t substitutes in place,” said the source, who asked not to be identified because the issue is so politically charged.
BPA was found in the urine of 93 percent of all Americans tested. Even the FDA now calls it a “safety concern” for fetuses, babies and young children. Given FDA officials’ acknowledgement that their own regulatory process is antiquated, it’s time to reform the agency: not just patch it but fix it once and for all.