The Food and Drug Administration has long been at war with academic scientists about whether a compound used in water bottles and thousands of other products called bisphenol A is safe. For a decade, the agency has dismissed hundreds of academic studies showing potential harm caused by BPA, as it is known, instead citing studies sponsored by the plastics industry.
But for the past six years, the two sides have tried to reach consensus by jointly working on a massive series of animal studies investigating BPA’s safety. Recently, it became clear that the efforts at a reconciliation had broken down. Several of the scientists went public this week, including in interviews with The Information, saying that the studies clearly show the dangers posed by BPA.
Laura Vandenberg, an associate professor who studies BPA at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, said the FDA’s own data shows that BPA has a wide range of effects at low doses, including an increase in mammary cancer, inflammation of the prostate, kidney damage and obesity.