Civil Eats passes along this piece from Grist’s Tom Laskawy, which sums up the recently released FDA report on BPA.
The good news is that the FDA now admits that BPA—the endocrine-disrupting, heart disease-causing ingredient in plastic food packaging and can linings—isn’t entirely safe (contradicting the agency’s statement from 2008 that it was), particularly for infants and children. The bad news? There’s not much the agency can do about it.
Read a certain way, this report is a bureaucratic cry for help—Congress, after all, can solve this problem with a wave of the President’s pen by passing the Senate’s Feinstein-Schumer bill that would set a strict timeline for ending the use of BPA in food packaging. Alternately, someone could attach a rider to an unrelated bill requiring all companies using BPA to submit it for review under the 2000 food contact notification law.
The takeaway here is that the FDA doesn’t think they really have the authority to ban BPA or even to meaningfully restrict its use. This is another symptom of the attenuated, outdated legal regime that the government must use to protect us from the witch’s brew of industrial chemicals in which we bubble. It seems that only Congress can provide the antidote.