FDA's Decision on BPA Exposes Catch 22

In a piece published by Scientific American on Monday, scientists Frederick S. vom Saal and Patricia A. Hunt discuss their research on the effects bisphenol-A can have on the body, and the United States Food and Drug Administration's descision to classify BPA as harmless to humans. According to vom Saal and Hunt, there have been hundreds of peer reviewed studies which have proved the detrimental effects of bisphenol-A, a number of which they have personally contributed to. The FDA, they say, has categorically ignored many of these studies and their findings, preferring to focus on studies conducted by their own scientists and researchers. According to the article:

"The FDA’s persistent rejection of virtually all the research from independent, university laboratories is disturbing. On one hand, NIH [National Institute of Health] has established a data-based method (power analysis) to ensure that the fewest possible animals are used in research. At the same time, the FDA is rejecting NIH-funded research findings on the grounds that the studies did not use “enough” animals. This is a federal Catch 22 that does not serve the public interest."

Unlike researchers working through the NIH, the FDA has established no such guidelines for the research they produce. They are able to conduct studies that involve the death of large numbers of animals, and are often flawed and lacking in appropriate controls. To learn more about the FDA and its research Catch 22, see the full article on Scientific American here.


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