Scientific Integrity: Calif. Board Dismisses BPA as Health Threat

Big news from California, where a regulatory board has resisted the pressure from the trial lawyer/activist combine to declare BPA a chemical harmful to people’s health. (BPA, or bisphenol A, is used to harden plastics and prevent corrosion.) From AP, “Calif. regulators say BPA warnings not warranted“:

OAKLAND, Calif. — A California regulatory board voted Wednesday against placing Bisphenol A, a chemical used to manufacture plastic baby bottles and toys, on the state’s list of chemicals that are believed to cause reproductive harm.

The panel, comprised of seven physicians, unanimously decided that the chemical known as BPA should not be covered under Proposition 65, a voter-approved measure used by regulators to identify substances that can cause birth defects, developmental or reproductive harm.

The regulatory board is the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee, who can accurately be described as “independent scientific experts.” The fact they would decline to identify BPA as harmful under California’s overreaching Proposition 65 suggest there wasn’t much of a scientific case to made in the first place. (Details of the committee’s meeting and decision.)

More ….

The American Chemistry Council issued a statement from Steven G. Hentges, Ph.D. of the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group. Excerpt:

The Proposition 65 conclusion today that bisphenol A is not a reproductive or developmental toxicant is consistent with the consensus view of regulatory bodies around the world on the safety of bisphenol A. From the US and Canada, to Europe, Japan and Australia-New Zealand, at least eleven national regulatory bodies have recently reviewed the science and concluded that bisphenol A is safe for use in consumer products.

ACC and its member companies have long-supported research to advance scientific understanding about chemicals and promote public health. We support the State of California’s comprehensive chemical management efforts and today’s decision that bisphenol A does not meet the criteria for listing under Proposition 65.

And from the North American Metal Packaging Alliance:

“We can now add California to the growing list of agencies that have concluded that BPA does not pose a risk to the general public,” said Dr. John M. Rost, NAMPA Chairman. “It’s important to note that when politics and media interference are taken out of the process, and safety decisions are made by qualified, independent scientific experts, we see the same conclusion time and time again — that BPA is safe.”

Of course, the crowd that normally shouts “scientific integrity” as a way to squelch debate now touts legislative action no matter the facts. From the lefty Daily Kos, diarist Elisa, “The good news is there is a BPA bill in California that, despite heavy lobbying by the chemical industry, narrowly passed the Senate and is up for a vote in the Assembly.”

Now, not speaking for the chemical industry, we would still assert the “heavy lobbying,” i.e., exercise of constitutional rights, comes on behalf of a safe chemical used to manufacture products desired by consumers. Consumers prefer affordable, durable bottles over those that shatter.

And, every legislative ban encourages class-action litigators who have already targeted BPA for a scare campaign to pave the way for lawsuits.

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