Why does everybody think BPA is safe but us?

Regarding the ubiquitous plastic ingredient bisphenol A (BPA), my colleague Angela Logomasini blogged that “The greens are rejoicing today because the Food and Drug Administration has softened its stance on the safety of” the chemical and gave some reasons why it’s folly. But here’s what I find striking.

In 2006 the European Union’s Food Safety Authority conducted a risk assessment focusing on the threat to infants. It ultimately raised the Tolerable Daily Intake by a factor of five, which is to say it found BPA much safer than was first believed. Mind you, this is the same EU that has placed advisory warnings on cell phones and whose residents run in terror at the sight of a grain of genetically modified corn.

Two years later the EU conducted an update and as Trevor Butterworth of STATS has documented, since then there’s been:

•A review by Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (2007)
•An examination of claims of neurotoxicity by the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (2008)
•An evaluation by the French Food Safety Agency (2008)
•A risk assessment by NSF International, a World Health Organization collaborative center (2008)
•A review of new data by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (2008)
•A survey of canned drink products by Health Canada (2009)
•A risk assessment by Food Standards Australia/New Zealand (2009)
•A modeling study of BPA in humans by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (2009).

None of these prompted any warnings or restrictions on BPA use.

There’s only one conclusion to draw from all this folks. Apparently Americans are uniquely vulnerable to the horrors of BPA. But (pssst . . . ) don’t try telling that to a geneticist.