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FDA faces lawsuit for not regulating BPA

Product liability attorney alert: Environmental group filed lawsuit against FDA for failing to regulate bisphenol A, BPA, in consumer products.

06/30/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks

Washington, DC – The Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the nation’s most effective environmental action groups, filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday, June 29, 2010, claiming the organization failed to regulate bisphenol A used in food packaging and containers. The press release, issued by the Natural Resources Defense Council, states the lawsuit was filed in U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

According to the press release, the NRDC petitioned the FDA to prohibit the use of BPA in food packaging to prevent the toxic chemical from contaminating food products in October 2008. The FDA’s own rules require the firm to approve, deny or respond to petitions within 180 days. As the petition was filed over 18 months ago, the FDA has failed to take action, according to the NRDC.

BPA is a chemical used in containers for a wide variety of products in the food industry. It can be found in infant formula cans, soda and beer cans, pizza boxes, water bottles and children’s sippy cups. It has been linked to prostate and breast cancer, early onset of puberty, polycystic ovary syndrome, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, among others.

The press release quotes Dr. Sarah Janssen, a senior scientist in the Environment and Public Health program at NRDC, in order to express its dismay with the FDA. According to Janssen, “BPA-free alternatives are already available and on the market. The FDA has no good reason to drag their feet on banning it…It’s upsetting that food is most people’s primary source of exposure to BPA. The FDA should act now to eliminate this unnecessary risk.”

While many states have waited on action from the FDA, some have taken the issue into their own hands by outlawing the chemicals from children’s products. New York is currently awaiting Governor David Paterson to sign a bill that would ban the chemical from products for children. If passed, New York will be the eighth state in the past two years to ban BPA.

The other states that have already banned BPA are: Washington, Illinois, Connecticut, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, Maryland and Massachusetts.

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