Within the past few years, there has been much discussion regarding the use of the industrial chemical Bisphenol A, more commonly known as BPA, which can be found in some plastic bottles as well as metal-based food and beverage containers. Previously the FDA held the stance that BPA was safe at the low levels found in these containers. However, the FDA is now reconsidering this stance, after new studies were conducted to test for effects of BPA. "Both the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health and the FDA have some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children." They are also carrying out additional studies to address key questions and uncertainties regarding the risks of BPA. While these studies are being carried out the FDA is taking steps to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply:
- supporting the industry's actions to stop producing BPA-containing baby bottles and infant feeding cups for the U.S. market
- facilitating the development of alternatives to BPA for the linings of infant formula cans
- supporting efforts to replace BPA or minimize BPA levels in other food can linings
- supporting a shift to a more robust regulatory framework for oversight of BPA
- seeking further public comment and external input on the science surrounding BPA
In the meantime, what can you do to help protect your family from the potentially harmful effects of BPA?
- Eat fresh food when possible.
- Use glass containers when heating food in the microwave instead of plastic containers.