"A little-noticed portion of the landmark food safety bill could have a big impact on the composition of consumer products, leading to the elimination of Bisphenol A in plastics now widely used in a range of plastic products aimed at pregnant women and young children.
If the Senate keeps the provision in the final food safety bill, the Food and Drug Administration will have until the end of 2009 to determine whether the chemical is safe; if it cannot make a determination, then it must restrict the use of Bisphenol A in products designed for pregnant women, babies and young children, according to a provision inserted in the bill by Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.).
The FDA has consistently endorsed the safety of Bisphenol A, but it has been thoroughly and convincingly criticized for ignoring a large set of independent research, and relying instead on a handful of studies by the chemical industry.
'This is a solid first step, but Congress needs to keep a close eye on the FDA,' said Environmental Working Group (EWG) legislative analyst Jason Rano. 'The agency could easily backslide to its industry biases if its scientific review isn’t honest and transparent.'"