Fast Company

FDA vs. BPA

Your article "This Is the Real Story of the Chemical Bisphenol A or BPA" (February 2009) had a significant impact in shifting the reporting on BPA at the beginning of 2009. It played an important role in revealing the history behind the industry-funded organizations that had been successful in blocking any regulatory action concerning BPA, which is found in virtually all Americans. By showing that the strategies used by the lead and tobacco industries to protect their products were now being used to protect BPA, you pulled off the mask from organizations that had been serving as stealth agents for the chemical manufacturers. Your report and others that followed have had a huge impact on the reporting regarding the hazards posed by BPA. The outcome was that on January 15, 2010, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it was reversing the decision it had reached in 2008 that it considered BPA safe, and instead identified concern about exposure to BPA, recommending approaches to reduce exposure while it worked with industry to eliminate BPA from a number of current uses. This is a significant victory for public health.

Fred vom Saal
University of Missouri-Columbia
Columbia, Missouri

Editor's note: Last December, David Michaels, the author of Doubt Is Their Product and the subject of a Q&A accompanying our BPA story, was confirmed as director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

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