Public interest groups, including the Center for Science in the Public Interest, are blasting the Food and Drug Administration for relying on industry-funded studies in evaluating the safety of bisphenol A, a chemical widely used in food packaging materials. The FDA's BPA draft assessment says the chemical is safe, ignoring numerous independent and government-funded studies which show risk of harm including brain and prostate damage to developing infants, fetuses, and children, as well as increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. Instead, the FDA relied on two studies funded by an arm of the American Chemistry Council, a trade organization representing chemical manufacturers. Employees of SABIC Innovative Plastics and Dow Chemical, which manufacture BPA, coauthored the two studies. The studies' lead author, Rochelle Tyl of Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina, previously worked for the chemical industry and received research funding from the plastics industry.
By Sheldon Rampton on September 23, 2008