Tuesday, April 27, 2010

FDA and Industry Lobbyists on BPA concerns

Guest post by Sheneaka Murphy

The FDA has expressed concerns about the safety of Bisphenol A. Bisphenol A (BPA) is used in plastic containers such as baby bottles, sippy cups, sport bottles and other plastic food containers and even the linings in canned food items.

There has been growing evidence which has linked to a broad array of health effects in low doses during critical windows of development. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) stated on the developmental effects of BPA exposure that it had "some concern" for effects on the brain, behavior, and prostate gland in fetuses, infants, and children at current levels of human exposure.

Companies will be now facing a situation where they must find new ways of producing their products with an alternative for Bisphenol A. Companies may reduce the amount of BPA placed in their product. Other companies will experience a slow transformation as the research and cost for substitution for epoxy resins containing BPA that are used as can linings will be an obstacle. Cost factors involved in this substitution can easily be overcome by scale economies.  For example, Heinz is already using a substitute to BPA in some of its can linings.

There is always a friction between the industry lobbyists and the FDA. Companies eager to gain market share and competitive advantage can take advantage of the wave of growing consumer awareness.  The reputation of retailers is better retained by adopting a proactive approach thereby earning customer-loyalty and citizenship.

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