Monday, October 27, 2008

More questions about BPA regulation

Though I am not in the habit of citing newspaper articles – after receiving the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s weekly Integrity in Science Watch, I linked to over the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which over the past year or so has done quite a bit of digging around on the issue of BPA.

Here’s the latest from Milwaukee: last week, the Sentinel accused the FDA of relying a bit too heavily on chemical and plastics industry citing 1) an FDA subcommittee chair whose institution accepted millions of dollars from a donor who had repeatedly expressed his views that the chemical was “perfectly safe;” and 2) using the consulting firm ICF, currently under investigation by the Committee on Energy and Commerce, which according to a letter sent to FDA commissioner Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach “…has done prior work for BPA manufacturers, and whose board members have ties to BPA manufacturers.”

Writes the Sentinel, “…Columbia University professor David Rosner, who researches the relationship of industry and government regulators of toxic substances, has compared the controversy over bisphenol A to tobacco and asbestos.” A few years back, Rosner, together with colleague Gerald Markowitz, authored Deceit and Denial: the deadly politics of industrial pollution, one of the better books I’ve read about the role of the chemical industry on regulation.

Coming from Rosner, as far as health scandals go, that’s a pretty serious comparison.