Get a FREE copy of my report The 7 Most Shocking Things the Health Food Industry
Will Never Tell You
+ my newsletter AND special health deals!

FDA Admits BPA Dangers But Can’t Regulate It

My oh my. Things like this make you wonder what our federal regulatory bodies are actually good for. This Friday, the FDA reversed their decision that Bisephenol-A (BPA) is safe. However, because the chemical is classified as an “indirect food additive” in the “generally recognized as safe” category, the FDA says they are powerless to regulate it!

Ah, don’t you just know the food industry is loving that little loophole right about now?


The picture the FDA is currently painting is not pretty:

FDA officials announced Friday that they had reversed their position that bisphenol A is safe. The chemical, used to line most food and beverage cans, has been found in the urine of 93% of Americans tested.

The agency now considers BPA to be of some concern for effects on the brain, behavior and prostate glands of fetuses and the very young. Scientific studies have raised concerns about the chemical’s link to breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, reproductive failures and behavioral problems.

So, why isn’t the FDA doing anything about it? Read on…

But because BPA was classified years ago as an indirect food additive, it is not subject to the kind of scrutiny that other chemicals are. Without critical data about BPA, it is impossible to regulate the chemical, officials said.

BPA, first manufactured in 1891, was later developed as a plasticizer in the early 1960s. It was classified in 1963 as an indirect food additive and is listed among some 3,000 chemicals that are “generally regarded as safe.” That designation exempts them from scrutiny.

According to the FDA’s regulations, a substance that is granted that status is not subject to FDA review.

So, while the agency can broadcast its opinion that the chemical is not safe, it can’t compel companies to provide certain information about the chemical.

Their hands are tied! But just who tied them? Who is responsible for giving the GRAS classification to BPA? From the same Journal Sentinel article:

The Journal Sentinel obtained e-mails through the Freedom of Information Act that showed how the agency’s look at BPA had been influenced by BPA makers.

The newspaper found that industry scientists wrote sections of the FDA’s earlier draft declaring the chemical to be safe for all uses. It later obtained e-mails that showed industry lobbyists were given priority treatment in scrutinizing studies and that FDA regulators looked to them for advice on how to deal with the media.

The newspaper also uncovered documents that showed how BPA makers borrowed the same tactics and some of the same people as the tobacco industry to downplay the health risks of their products. In a meeting held in Washington, D.C., last May, food packaging executives mapped out a public relations strategy that included finding a pregnant woman to serve as a spokeswoman for the benefits of BPA. Notes referred to such a person as “the holy grail.”

Isn’t that lovely? The BPA makers lobby the FDA to get their chemical classified in the “Generally Recognized As Safe” category, and now, decades later, when the FDA is presented with enough evidence to question that classification, they claim their hands are tied to do anything about it!

So, dear readers, it looks like the future of BPA is in your hands. You can join others in the fight to pass legislation banning BPA. According to the Journal Sentinel, “Minnesota, Connecticut, the City of Chicago and two counties in New York have banned BPA in baby bottles. Other measures are being considered in 30 states and municipalities. A federal ban on BPA in all food contact has been proposed in Congress.”

And, you can use your voice as a consumer and choose to avoid BPA.

How to avoid BPA exposure:

  • Because of the ubiquitous presence of BPA in the linings of canned foods, you should limit your consumption of industrialized canned goods (particularly if you’re pregnant or nursing).
  • Avoid polycarbonate plastics, particularly those labeled as plastic #7 and #3. Don’t eat or drink out of these containers; don’t store foods in these containers; and don’t heat foods in these containers. As an alternative, use glass, stainless steel, or ceramic containers NOT lined with plastics.

Sadly, one commenter in a previous BPA related post pointed out that when having her pipes worked on earlier in the year, she discovered they were all #3 PVC plastic. So, maybe we should also add avoiding tap water to the list of suggested changes.

(photo by sissi de kroon)

Print Friendly
Sharing Is Rebellious! ENJOY.


The following two tabs change content below.
I am a passionate advocate for REAL FOOD -- food that's sustainable, organic, local, and traditionally-prepared according to the wisdom of our ancestors. I'm also an author and a nutrition educator. I enjoy playing in the rain, a good bottle of Caol Ila scotch, curling up with a page-turning book, sunbathing on my hammock, and watching my three children explore their world.
STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only ever endorse products that are in alignment with Food Renegade's ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. You may read my full disclosure statements here.







34 Responses to FDA Admits BPA Dangers But Can’t Regulate It
  1. SeasonalWisdom
    January 17, 2010 | 5:10 pm

    Avoid canned foods and polycarbonate plastic food containers. Here’s why (BPA)- http://su.pr/27FJcj via @FoodRenegade

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  2. leekfixer
    January 17, 2010 | 6:19 pm

    BS! RT @FoodRenegade: FDA admits BPA dangers, but says they can’t regulate it! http://su.pr/27FJcj

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  3. decaturfm
    January 17, 2010 | 6:19 pm

    BS! RT @FoodRenegade: FDA admits BPA dangers, but says they can’t regulate it! http://su.pr/27FJcj

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  4. glueandglitter
    January 17, 2010 | 7:06 pm

    What?? FDA admits BPA dangers, but says they can’t regulate it! http://su.pr/27FJcj (vi @leekfixer, @FoodRenegade)

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  5. jsuttor
    January 17, 2010 | 8:09 pm

    BPA is also in most/all modern home canning lids: RT @hyperlocavore: FDA Admits BPA Dangers But Can’t Regulate It http://bit.ly/5zgi8J

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  6. bottleLESS
    January 17, 2010 | 8:53 pm

    The Scoop on BPA? No longer “safe” … but the FDA can’t regulate it. http://bit.ly/7NhRDk Want to be safe? Go BottleLESS.

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  7. lisa
    January 17, 2010 | 9:50 pm

    And isn’t BPA in dental procedures such as sealants? YUCH!!!!!!!!!!
    .-= lisa´s last blog post …Gratitude Wednesday! =-.

  8. Virginia
    January 17, 2010 | 9:57 pm

    Great post! A fellow locavore just did an outstanding post on BPA free canning options:
    http://whatdidshedotoday.typepad.com/what_did_she_do_today/2010/01/she-voiced-her-desire-for-bpa-free-canning-jar-lids-january-15-2009.html
    .-= Virginia´s last blog post …Backyard Maple Sugaring =-.

  9. girlfuturist
    January 17, 2010 | 10:08 pm

    FDA admits BPA dangers, but says they can’t regulate it! http://su.pr/27FJcj RT @FoodRenegade

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  10. Little Red Hen Mama
    January 18, 2010 | 2:37 am

    The FDA does nothing. I really don’t even understand why they’re around. They don’t protect us from dangerous food and they don’t protect us from dangerous drugs either.
    .-= Little Red Hen Mama´s last blog post …Joyful =-.

  11. Nourished_Life
    January 18, 2010 | 9:20 am

    BPA is deemed harmful – but you’re on your own if you want to protect yourself! http://tinyurl.com/ycm7he5

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  12. CourseDeveloper
    January 18, 2010 | 9:46 am

    Reading @foodrenegade FDA Admits BPA Dangers But Can%E2%80%99t Regulate It http://tinyurl.com/ycm7he5

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  13. TerraSano
    January 18, 2010 | 10:24 am

    FDA Admits BPA Dangers But Can’t Regulate It | http://bit.ly/4uYIEt (via feedly)

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  14. FoodRenegade
    January 18, 2010 | 12:02 pm

    Did you see this? FDA admits BPA dangers, but says they can’t regulate it! http://su.pr/27FJcj

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  15. balibones
    January 18, 2010 | 12:24 pm

    Reading @foodrenegade FDA Admits BPA Dangers But Can’t Regulate It http://tinyurl.com/ycm7he5

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  16. healthhomehappy
    January 18, 2010 | 12:30 pm

    Why I don’t trust the gvt to keep us safe ;) RT @FoodRenegade: FDA admits BPA dangers, but says they can’t regulate it! http://su.pr/27FJcj

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  17. SteveAtkinson
    January 18, 2010 | 12:49 pm

    A little know fact is that a couple of Japanese studies have found trace amounts of BPA in virtually all white composite dental fillings, presumably added to increase hardness and longevity. Given that they still wear faster than any other filling material and the prevalence of BPA in our bodies, this should be an area of concern.

  18. psychiclunch
    January 18, 2010 | 8:09 pm

    WHY do we have the FDA, again? Now (finally) agree that BPA is bad – &say can’t do anything about it! http://ow.ly/XZui (via @FoodRenegade)

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  19. codestripper
    January 18, 2010 | 8:41 pm

    FDA Admits BPA Dangers But Can’t Regulate It http://tr.im/KPF7 via @hyperlocavore So comforting to know where my tax $$ are *not* going.

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  20. Jenn
    January 19, 2010 | 7:47 am

    I’m so sad I want to cry. Here I’ve been so dilligent in buying wooden toys for my son, getting kleen kanteens for his lunch, taking out all my plastic utensils and containers in the kitchen… And then, after reading this post, I looked under my cabinet and I saw it:
    PVC pipes in the whole house.
    So, after all my hard work I’m still inundating my poor family with plastic gunk. Every meal, every drink (we almost exclusively drink filtered tap water), every bath… And now I just want to sit and cry. How am I suppose to protect my family when this stuff is everywhere???

    • Natural Health Goodies
      January 20, 2010 | 12:03 am

      I hear you, it gets so disheartening. I guess you do the best you can to live a healthy life by changing the things you can and don’t worry about those you can’t. I would imagine even if you eliminate some toxins from your surroundings you are better off – it is like eating mostly organic foods and occasionally enjoying a fast food burger – you are still better off and more healthy than someone who doesn’t even try to eat healthy.

      Don’t lose too much hope, it sounds like you are doing a lot more than most people to protect your family and it will pay off.
      .-= Natural Health Goodies´s last blog post …Hey Who Stole My Cold? Thieves Oil Strikes Again =-.

  21. Nate @ House of Annie
    January 19, 2010 | 11:28 am

    But…but…what about my SPAM?!
    .-= Nate @ House of Annie´s last blog post …Buah Tarap – Borneo’s Unique Tropical Fruit =-.

  22. joncanady
    January 19, 2010 | 11:40 am

    FDA says BPA is dangerous, but they can’t do anything because they put it on the safe list (due to lobbyists) years ago http://bit.ly/93mE9B

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

  23. Anonymous
    January 21, 2010 | 9:25 am

    Charisa you are too funny! Vaughnie is going to kill you when she gets older and sees this! Mom

    This comment was originally posted on The Parenting Project

  24. dave
    January 21, 2010 | 11:47 am

    Can I ask about the pink makeover?

    It’s throwing me off when only the middle of the blog moves. Sorry, I’m so used to the blog that I’m having a hard time adjusting to the change.

    This comment was originally posted on The Parenting Project

  25. Charisa
    January 21, 2010 | 11:52 am

    Dave, I’m in total agreement with you. It sucks. I just haven’t changed it back yet. And in this short time that I’ve started typing Vaughn has climbed on top of the kitchen table.

    This comment was originally posted on The Parenting Project

  26. Sarah
    January 21, 2010 | 2:04 pm

    I was thinking exactly what your mom was thinking. Vaughnie is going to kill you when she gets older. I do love it when you post pictures, just because they are always so cute.

    Thanks for the info on BPA. It is scary how much stuff it is in.

    This comment was originally posted on The Parenting Project

  27. Anonymous
    January 21, 2010 | 2:41 pm

    she does look roided up. What is BPA?

    the mayor

    This comment was originally posted on The Parenting Project

  28. Anonymous
    January 21, 2010 | 2:42 pm

    i think i do like how the sides don’t move…i like motion sickness. Gives me something to deal with at work.

    the mayor

    This comment was originally posted on The Parenting Project

  29. Charisa
    January 21, 2010 | 2:45 pm

    BPA is short for Bisphenol A. It’s in plastics. Follow the link to read more.

    This comment was originally posted on The Parenting Project

  30. Anonymous
    January 21, 2010 | 5:03 pm

    too confusing…

    the mayor

    This comment was originally posted on The Parenting Project

  31. Erica
    January 22, 2010 | 12:43 am

    Did you know there is a LIMIT with the blogger on how many pictures you can have on your blog!?!? I just apparently hit it today. I can purchase more. (booo..although it isn’t very $$) but still! Grrr! Never realized that..guess that is what fine print is for?!!

    This comment was originally posted on The Parenting Project

  32. Eco_Prof
    February 5, 2010 | 1:42 pm

    Yikes: RT @ChaffinOrchards: RT @foodrenegade FDA Admits the dangers of BPA but says they can’t regulate it http://ow.ly/12Exf

    This comment was originally posted on Twitter

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Who Am I?

My name is Kristen Michaelis. I'm a nutrition educator, author, and mother of three. I adore hats, happy skirts, horizons full of storm clouds, the full-bodied feel of wind as I ride motorcylces, reading in my hammock, and a hearty shot of Caol Ila scotch. I'm also a rebel with a cause.
Food Renegade October Giveaway