The title reminds me of hanging with my niece LittleA who rhymes all the time!
Loving the first few paragraphs in this story in the Washington Post. Oh the whole darn article, who am I kidding. Why do you think I’m currently drinking a margarita in a glass glass from a glass tequila bottle and a glass mix bottle? Coincidence? Well, maybe a little bit. HOWEVER…well just read for yourself.
Despite more than 100 published studies by government scientists and university laboratories that have raised health concerns about a chemical compound that is central to the multibillion-dollar plastics industry, the Food and Drug Administration has deemed it safe largely because of two studies, both funded by an industry trade group.
The agency says it has relied on research backed by the American Plastics Council because it had input on its design, monitored its progress and reviewed the raw data.
Alrighty then, move right along, nothing more to see here. Except maybe…
The compound, bisphenol A (BPA), has been linked to breast and prostate cancer, behavioral disorders and reproductive health problems in laboratory animals.
As evidence mounts about the risks of using BPA in baby bottles and other products, some experts and industry critics contend that chemical manufacturers have exerted influence over federal regulators to keep a possibly unsafe product on the market.
Scientists first flagged possible health risks of BPA more than a decade ago. From 1997 to 2005, 116 studies of the compound were published, many of them focused on its effects in low doses. Of those funded by government, 90 percent showed a health effect linked to BPA. None of the industry-funded studies found an effect; all of them said BPA is safe.
There is a clear bias in studies funded by industry, said Michaels, who now runs the Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy at George Washington University and wrote the book “Doubt is Their Product,” which details how various industries have used science to stave off regulation.
“This is a great example of the funding effect,” he said. “It’s not so much because scientists are shaving the truth, but they ask questions in a way to give them the answers they want.”
A decade ago, Frederick vom Saal, a reproductive scientist at University of Missouri at Columbia, came up with a different research strategy. He theorized that because BPA can mimic estrogen, a female sex hormone, minuscule amounts introduced to fetuses or infants could change cell structure and cause significant health problems later in life. He found that doses 25,000 times below what the government has labeled as safe harmed developing cells in mice.
In 1997, after he submitted his first study for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, vom Saal said he was visited by a group of scientists including John M. Waechter of Dow Chemical, a manufacturer of BPA. According to vom Saal, Waechter began the meeting by expressing a hope for “some mutually beneficial outcome” if vom Saal held off on publication until a replicate study could be performed. Vom Saal refused, and, six weeks later, sent a pointed letter documenting the exchange to plastics industry representatives, including Waechter, and an FDA official.
Dow declined to make Waechter available for an interview. Spokesman Mark Walton said vom Saal misunderstood Waechter. “We categorically reject any suggestion that what we did was in any way unethical,” he said.