Fifty Years And How Many Lives?

On March 22, 2007, I spoke about Bisphenol-A in Episode #27 of my Test Pattern podcast. I am attaching that podcast as well as the transcript. Please take a moment to listen to the podcast (and read along) before I reveal the reason for re-hashing such old material.

[audio:http://www.slobokan.com/testpattern/20070322.TestPattern.0027.mp3]

Bisphenol-A, also known as BPA, was first synthesized in 1891 as a synthetic estrogen. BPA is used as a building block for polycarbonate plastic. Bisphenol A-based polycarbonate is used as a plastic coating for children’s teeth to prevent cavities, as a coating in metal cans to prevent the metal from coming in contact with food, as the plastic in food containers, refrigerator shelving, baby bottles, water bottles, returnable containers for juice, milk and water, micro-wave ovenware and eating utensils.

Bisphenol-A has also been used as an inert ingredient in pesticides, as a fungicide, flame retardant, and polyvinyl chloride stabilizer.

BPA is a heavily produced industrial compound. It ranks in the top 2% of produced chemicals in the United States. Annual production exceeds a billion pounds per year and is so common in products and industrial waste that along with humans, it is found in rivers, estuaries, sediment, household dust, and air nearly everywhere it is tested.

More than one hundred peer reviewed studies have found BPA to be toxic at low doses, yet not one regulatory agency has updated safety standards to reflect this fact.

During tests in the 1930’s studies on animals and humans showed cancer cells to occur with exposure as low as 2 to 5 parts per billion.

Recent studies have confirmed that BPA exposure during development has carcinogenic effects and may produce the precursors of breast cancer and prostate cancer. Bisphenol-A has also been shown to have developmental toxicity, carcinogenic effects and possible neuro-toxicity. It may even be linked to obesity, as it may trigger fat cell activity.

Despite the toxicity levels, there are still no safety standards for BPA. It is allowed in unlimited amounts in consumer products, drinking water, and food. The Environmental Working Group contracted with a national analytical laboratory to test 97 cans of food they purchased in March of 2006.

The laboratory detected Bisphenol-A in 57 percent of the cans. They found 83 percent of cans containing baked beans contained an average BPA level of 9.7 parts per billion. Remember, the tests in the 30’s found exposure as low as 2 to 5 parts per billion could cause cancer. Eighty-nine percent of canned soups were found to contain an average of 57.6 parts per billion, and every can of ravioli had an average level of 63.5 parts per billion.

As of December 2004, 94 of 115 peer reviewed studies had confirmed BPA’s toxicity at low levels of exposure. At some of the very lowest doses, the chemical causes permanent alterations of breast and prostate cells that precede cancer, insulin resistance, and chromosomal damage linked to recurrent miscarriage and a wide range of birth defects including Downs Syndrome.

Few chemicals have been found to consistently display just a diverse range of harm at such low doses. Like acrylamide, the FDA is doing nothing about exposure to Bisphenol-A.

As more and more people are diagnosed with condition after condition, it only makes sense to look at what we’re eating. If we don’t do it, no one else is going to do it for us.

I recorded that podcast thirty-four months ago. At the time I recorded the podcast I received a few comments that I was being extremist. I was accused of alarming people about a substance that science had clearly proven safe. I was told that I, along with the EWG, was off my rocker.

Low and behold, it turns out the EWG was correct, and so was I. From the FDA website:

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical that has been present in many hard plastic bottles and metal-based food and beverage cans since the 1960s.

Studies employing standardized toxicity tests have thus far supported the safety of current low levels of human exposure to BPA However, on the basis of results from recent studies using novel approaches to test for subtle effects, both the National Toxicology Program at the National Institutes of Health and FDA have some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and young children. In cooperation with the National Toxicology Program, FDA’s National Center for Toxicological Research is carrying out in-depth studies to answer key questions and clarify uncertainties about the risks of BPA.

In the interim:

  • FDA is taking reasonable steps to reduce human exposure to BPA in the food supply. These steps include:
    • supporting the industry’s actions to stop producing BPA-containing baby bottles and infant feeding cups for the U.S. market;
    • facilitating the development of alternatives to BPA for the linings of infant formula cans; and
    • supporting efforts to replace BPA or minimize BPA levels in other food can linings.
  • FDA is supporting a shift to a more robust regulatory framework for oversight of BPA.
  • FDA is seeking further public comment and external input on the science surrounding BPA.

FDA is also supporting recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Services for infant feeding and food preparation to reduce exposure to BPA.

FDA is not recommending that families change the use of infant formula or foods, as the benefit of a stable source of good nutrition outweighs the potential risk from BPA exposure.

It took them 50 years, but someone finally opened their eyes and looked at the data. The FDA has officially changed their position on BPA and they believe that recent studies provide reason for some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland of fetuses, infants, and children.

All I can say, is it’s about freaking time. In 2007, 94 of 115 peer reviewed studies put the evidence right in front of them and the FDA chose to ignore it. How many additional people have gotten sick because the FDA dragged their feet about this? How many additional children will show developmental issues because the FDA ignored the truth?

They’re still not sure it has the potential to cause all the damage I spoke about in the podcast, but they are currently supporting the industry’s actions to stop producing BPA-containing bottles and feeding cups. The FDA is also facilitating the development of alternatives to BPA for the linings of infant formula cans. They wouldn’t be “supporting” all these actions if Bisphenol-A was harmless.

They were fifty years late getting to the table, and I want to know why? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that something like Bisphenol-A is dangerous. Believe me I know, I’m not a rocket scientist, and that’s probably due to the tardiness of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Three Thoughts Til Thursday

Finally! Tonight I am finally reading a health care proposal that doesn’t sentence my children to a life of servitude to pay the costs of providing that care, doesn’t take almost 5 days to read, and actually reduces the federal deficit.

Tonight I am reading the GOP Amendment to HR3962. The amendment is an “amendment in the nature of a substitute” which means the current version of HR 3962 would be replaced by this new text.

HR3962 clocks in at 1,990 pages, but the GOP substitute sums things up, quite nicely, in 219 pages. I still have some reading to do and I need to formulate my thoughs, so tomorrow I will be posting my review of the “Common Sense Health Care Reform and Affordability Act”.

Here are some other quick thoughts to hold you over until tomorrow.

Thought #1

Remember the indocrtrination videos I linked to weeks and months ago? It seems there are a lot more of those, even more than you possibly could have imagined.

This is about brainwashing our children into Leftist identity politics. Sure, the schools can argue that they had some kind of parental permission — which, if true, is somehow even more disturbing — but who even considers doing something like this with young minds? That’s a rhetorical question.

There was some guesswork, but to the best of our ability the videos run from oldest to youngest, starting with high schoolers. We list the name of the school and the date the video was posted. From there, if it could be found (or a confident guess made), you’ll find the schools’ website, followed by the original title given to the video and any notes added by whoever uploaded to YouTube.

Big Hollywood has organized a great number of the videos, by age of the children involved, and they have even transcribed the videos so you can follow along with the message.

It really is that bad.

Thought #2

The U.S. Senate voted 98-0 to extend unemployment benefits. This is a small band-aid for the larger problems that face our nation, but it’s good to see someone pulling out the first aid kit, finally.

After weeks of partisan debate, the Senate voted on Wednesday to lengthen unemployment benefits by up to 20 weeks and to extend the $8,000 homebuyer tax credit.

The closely watched legislation would extend jobless benefits in all states by 14 weeks. Those that live in states with unemployment greater than 8.5% would receive an additional six weeks. The proposal would be funded by extending a longstanding federal unemployment tax on employers through June 30, 2011.

Now if they could just get their heads on straight with everything else, we might just make it through everything going on.

Thought #3

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which seems to be getting very little press, looks to be a very dangerous thing, for everyone.

The Internet chapter raises two additional issues. On the international front, it provides firm confirmation that ACTA is not a counterfeiting treaty, but a copyright treaty. These provisions involve copyright policy as no reasonable definition of counterfeiting would include these kinds of provisions. On the domestic front, it raises serious questions about the Canadian negotiation mandate. Negotiations from Foreign Affairs are typically constrained by either domestic law, a bill before the House of Commons, or the negotiation mandate letter. Since these provisions dramatically exceed current Canadian law and are not found in any bill presently before the House, Canadians should be asking whether the negotiation mandate letter has envisioned such dramatic changes to domestic copyright law. When combined with the other chapters that include statutory damages, search and seizure powers for border guards, anti-camcording rules, and mandatory disclosure of personal information requirements, it is clear that there is no bigger IP issue today than the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement being negotiated behind closed doors this week in Korea.

Indoctrination, Taxation, Representation And Annihilation

With all the rain we’ve had around here lately, I haven’t had much time to focus on some of the news from the past two days. My mind is swimming with thoughts about some things I have read tonight and I need to get them off my chest.

Thought #1

What the hell is this about?

We’re teaching kids to praise President Obama? Since when do we indoctrinate children by teaching them to honor the President in an organized chant? Pathetic, really.

Thought #2

Joe Biden is right. While discussing the upcoming 2010 elections and the 35 House seats that are currently held by Democrats in traditionally Republican districts, he said,

If they take them back, this the end of the road for what Barack and I are trying to do

Like I said, he’s right.

Thought #3

Jimmy Carter says that former President Bush and his administration may have been involved in a 2002 coup attempt against Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.

I think there is no doubt that in 2002, the United States had at the very least full knowledge about the coup, and could even have been directly involved

Personally, I think that’s better than President Obama and his administration’s attempts to stifle democracy in Honduras. I’m not going to go into it all in this post, but a simple search on Google will give you plenty of information to learn that President Obama has personally condemned the rise of democracy in Honduras.

I don’t think we need to be messing around in either country, but interfering in the name of democracy rather than stifling it sounds better to me any day.

Thought #4

Fining people for not carrying health insurance is wrong. Such fines collected by the IRS are nothing more than taxes. So much about the health care bills in the House and the Senate are wrong. When things are this wrong, they cannot be “negotiated” they must be re-written.

Thought #5

Former President Jimmy Carter sure thinks he’s an expert on the Middle East, doesn’t he? It’s hard to imagine that someone who was apparently so instrumental in brokering peace between Egypt and Israel can be so wrong about peace between Israel and the rest of their neighbors.

I’m no expert, but I do know a few things. Hamas wants nothing less than the complete annihilation of Israel. Hezbollah wants nothing less than the complete annihilation of Israel. Nothing Israel has done in the past, is doing now, or shall do in the future will change either of those facts. So, it’s quite a surprise to read the following:

Former President Jimmy Carter says Israel must stop building settlements in Palestine for there to be peace in the Middle East.

In order for there to peace in the Middle East, Hamas and Hezbollah need to stop sending homicide bombers into Israel, they need to stop threatening Israel, and Hamas as well as Hezbollah need to be annihilated. Only then, will there be a chance for peace in the Middle East.

Thought #6

The voters of Georgia’s Fourth Congressional District may have thought they had sane representation when Hank Johnson won the seat, but it’s clear that Georgia #4 has some sort of Cynthia McKinney syndrome that could take years to purge.

Rep. Hank Johnson is standing by his comments that Rep. Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” outburst at President Obama “instigated more racist sentiment” and could lead to a resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan.

Johnson, a Georgia Democrat, wrote in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Monday that he doesn’t think that most of Obama’s opponents are motivated by racism, but that he believes Wilson’s comments “winked at a racist element” and that there is a small but “racially motivated fringe” among those who disapprove of the president and his policies.

Ridiculous.