Public Health Best Served by Open,
Transparent Scientific Evaluations
August 2, 2007
ARLINGTON, VA (August 2, 2007) – The Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group of the American Chemistry Council supports the sound scientific evaluation process of the National Toxicology Program’s Center for the Evaluation of Risks to Human Reproduction (CERHR). Consequently, the Council is dismayed by the report on bisphenol A published on-line this week in the journal Reproductive Toxicology.
“When the safety of common consumer products is in question, public health interests are best served by a rigorous, open and transparent scientific evaluation in which conflicts of interest and bias are tightly controlled and reported. The evaluation process used by CERHR was designed to meet these criteria and has been successfully applied for many years,” stated Steven Hentges, Ph.D., of the American Chemistry Council’s Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group.
“With the scientifically sound CERHR evaluation of bisphenol A so near to completion, we’re dismayed to see a competing and far less sound evaluation released and publicized this week, apparently in an attempt to upstage CERHR,” continued Dr. Hentges. Unlike CERHR, the competing evaluation was conducted in a closed process with no opportunity for public input or participation. Although conclusions are represented as a scientific consensus, conflicts of interest and the potential for bias are apparent in the list of authors, which includes several with well established positions who have actively advocated against bisphenol A.
The conclusions of the competing evaluation are distinctly at odds with the findings of other comprehensive evaluations of the safety of bisphenol A in which government and scientific bodies worldwide examined the same scientific information. All of these evaluations support the conclusion that bisphenol A is not a risk to human health at the extremely low levels to which consumers might be exposed. Most recently, the European Food Safety Authority released a report on the safety of bisphenol A by a panel of 21 independent scientific experts from throughout the European Union. Based on the most recent science, that report provides a very reassuring conclusion that consumers are not at risk from use of products made from bisphenol A.
The expert panel of independent scientists organized by CERHR is scheduled to meet in public on August 6-8 to finalize the panel’s evaluation of bisphenol A.
Bisphenol A is used primarily to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, both of which are used in a wide range of common consumer products. From baby bottles to bicycle helmets, and eyeglass lenses to components of life-saving medical devices, products made from polycarbonate plastic have been safely used for 50 years and continue to be safely used today. Epoxy resins, commonly used as protective coatings, protect the safety and integrity of canned foods and beverages when used to coat metal cans.