The Food and Drug Administration rejected banning the plastic-hardening chemical, bisphenol-A from all food and drink packaging. The FDA said the petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) did not present enough evidence to justify the BPA to be removed.
Around 90 percent of Americans have a certain about of BPA in their bodies, because it leaks out of food and drink containers. Scientists believe that BPA exposure can hurt reproductive and nervous systems.
Scientists have studied exposure of BPA (bisphenol-A) in rodents and small animals. The FDA says that these study results can’t be applied the same for humans.
The FDA said in a statement, “While evidence from some studies have raised questions as to whether BPA may be associated with a variety of health effects, there remain serious questions about these studies, particularly as they relate to humans.”
Some of the studies involving small animals required scientists to inject the BPA into the animals, rather humans ingest the BPA chemical through their diet over a long period of time. The FDA also said that humans metabolize and eliminate BPA much more quickly than rats and other lab animals.
Dr. Sarah Janssen, an NRDC senior scientist said, “BPA is a toxic chemical that has no place in our food supply. The agency has failed to protect our health and safety in the face of scientific studies that continue to raise disturbing questions about the long-term effects of BPA exposures, especially in fetuses, babies and young children.”
With BPA being so harmful on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of developing fetuses, infants and children, some manufacturers have begun to switch to alternatives and have been removing BPA from their products.
In 2008, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Toys “R” Us said they began phasing out bottles, sippy cups and other children’s items containing BPA. By the end of 2009, the six leading makers of baby bottles in the U.S. went BPA-free. Earlier this month Campbell’s Soup said it would begin removing BPA from its most popular soups, though it did not set a time frame, according to The Associated Press.
Adults and older children can metabolize and eliminate BPA much more quickly through their kidneys, while newborns and infants retain the chemical for longer. The FDA revised its opinion on BPA in 2010 saying there is “some concern” about the chemical’s impact on the brain and reproductive system of infants, babies and young children.