ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Uncover Why Turmeric Helps You Heal
Insight on Herbals Eludes Doctors, Patients Alike
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Osteoporosis May Raise Risk for Vertigo
High Birth Weight Doubles Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Get in Step With Summer Foot Care
CANCER
Well Water Might Raise Bladder Cancer Risk
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Tanning Beds Shown To Raise Cancer Risk, Study Says
CAREGIVING
Reduce Suffering, Urge Heart Failure Patients and Caregivers
Most Women Struggle With Rising Health Care Costs
Caring for Aging Loved Ones Can Be a Catch-22
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Vitamins Do Older Women Little Good
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
COSMETIC
What to Do If You Have Unsightly Veins
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Study Links Osteoporosis Drugs to Jaw Trouble
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Scientists Find Gene for Tooth Enamel
DIABETES
Out-of-Control Blood Sugar May Affect Memory
Diabetes Linked to Cognitive Problems
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Milk Destroys Antioxidant Benefits in Blueberries
Purple Tomato Extended Lives of Cancer-Prone Mice
Eat Light - Live Longer
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Flame-Retardant Chemical Linked to Conception Problems
Short-Term Air Pollution Exposure May Damage DNA
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
EYE CARE, VISION
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
Time Teaches Brain to Recognize Objects
Unconscious Learning: In the Eye of the Beholder?
FITNESS
When It Comes to Lifting, the Pros Have Your Back
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
New Options Offered for Sleep Apnea
Lack of Vitamin D Linked to High Blood Pressure
FDA Bans Unapproved Prescription Cough, Cold and Allergy Meds
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Subway Defibrillators Save Lives
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Omega-3, Some Omega-6 Fatty Acids Boost Cardiovascular Health
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
A Little Alcohol May Help the Heart: Studies
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Chinese 'Devil Dung' Plant Could Be a Swine Flu Fighter
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
Childhood Dairy Intake Boosts Bone Health Later On
Winter's Bitter Cold Poses Health Dangers
MEN'S HEALTH
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
More Vitamin C May Mean Less Chance of Gout
Soy Linked to Low Sperm Count
MENTAL HEALTH
Drink Away Dementia?
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Acupuncture May Relieve Acid Indigestation In Pregnancy
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
SENIORS
The Healthy Habits of Centenarians
Tai Chi May Help Ward Off Knee Pain in Seniors
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
Supportive Weigh-In Program Keeps Pounds Off
Green Tea May Help Treat Uterine Fibroids
Add your Article

FDA Faulted for Stance on Chemical in Plastics

By Steve Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel agreed Friday that the agency had erred in August when it said that a chemical widely used in baby bottles and other plastic packaging for foods and beverages posed no health risks.

On Wednesday, a panel of toxicology experts said the FDA hadn't properly assessed the potential health risks posed by the chemical bisphenol A (BPA), which some studies have linked to cancer, diabetes, heart disease and developmental delays in children. The toxicologists said the FDA had relied too heavily on studies funded by the chemical industry to make its decision, and had failed to consider other studies that questioned the safety of BPA.

The panel of toxicologists had been convened by the FDA after the agency ruled that BPA was safe at current exposure levels -- a stance that prompted criticism from some lawmakers and consumer groups.

On Friday, the FDA's Science Board, which consists of scientists from academia, government and industry and advises the FDA commissioner, seconded the toxicologists' concerns about the FDA's August ruling. The issue will now go to FDA Commissioner Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach. It's unclear how the FDA might respond, the Washington Post reported.

"Let me be clear: There's no shame for having" your hypothesis disproved, von Eschenbach said during Friday's session, referring to BPA without mentioning it by name, the Dow Jones news service reported.

The FDA's position on BPA has been controversial because it contradicted more than 100 studies, as well as a finding by the U.S. National Toxicology Program, that there was "some concern" that BPA may affect the brain and behavioral development in fetuses, infants and small children, the Post said.

Norris Alderson, associate commissioner for science at the FDA, told Dow Jones that the agency will probably start research early in 2009 to determine the toxic effects of BPA on babies less than 1 month old. Babies are considered the most susceptible group to BPA's effects. It's unclear when those studies would be done, the news service said.

In September, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association said that people with high levels of BPA were more likely to have heart disease, including heart attack, or diabetes. High BPA levels increased the risk for these diseases by 39 percent, the researchers reported.

Speaking at Friday's hearing, Steven G. Hentges, of the American Chemistry Council's Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group, said: "The Science Board is receiving many diverse viewpoints on bisphenol A. But the common ground we all share is a commitment to do what's right to protect the health and safety of American consumers -- adults and children alike."

Hentges called the FDA's August draft assessment "consistent with the conclusions of other scientific and government bodies worldwide, such as the European Food Safety Authority, Health Canada, the European Union, and NSF International, all of which completed or updated their assessments this year. We rely on their conclusions, which are that polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins are safe for use in food contact applications."

Earlier this month, Canada moved to ban plastic baby bottles containing BPA. Several U.S. states are considering restricting BPA use.

Commenting on Friday's developments, Dr. Hugh S. Taylor, director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Yale University School of Medicine, said: "While the dangers of BPA exposure are far from definitively proven, the clear and mounting evidence that BPA is very likely to be harmful should not lead to a statement from the FDA that there is no concern. The panel's recommendation was misleading and gave people false reassurance. Decisions that may affect the health of the next several generations (due to the effects on the fetus as well) should be made cautiously and with input from all interested parties. The FDA is to be commended for this re-evaluation."

More information

To learn more about BPA, visit Environment California.



SOURCES: Hugh S. Taylor, M.D., director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, and professor of obstetrics and gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; American Chemistry Council, news release, Oct. 31, 2008; Washington Post; Dow Jones

Last Updated: Nov. 01, 2008

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