- News - Bisphenol A
BPA (Bisphenol A) is a dangerous chemical which has been linked conclusively to serious illnesses in humans using the most advanced medical technology. However, regulators are not banning BPA as data from rats does not show adverse reactions. In reality the rat result only demonstrate the biological differences between humans and rats, not the safety of BPA. This is yet another example of the dangers that animal use present. On many other occasions animal tests have indicated that dangerous medicines are safe, following which they have killed and injured people, or caused other human disasters.
This is why we are calling for an historic evaluation of animal and technological methods to develop a coherent health strategy with consumer and patient safety as the objective.
The Independent. 13 April 2010.
Scientists declare war over BPA. Study finds chemical has no effect on rats – but critics say their research is flawed
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
A fierce dispute has broken out between scientists over the health risks posed by bisphenol A – a chemical found in plastic baby bottles and the lining of food tins – following a
new study suggesting that high doses of BPA do not harm laboratory rats.
A three-year investigation into the role that BPA might play in disrupting the body's endocrine sex hormones found that rats were unaffected by BPA even when they were fed doses several thousand times higher than the maximum exposure experienced by humans.
The study, carried out by the US Environmental Protection Agency and paid for by the US government, is judged by experts as one of the best studies into the controversy surrounding BPA, but it was immediately denounced as "flawed" by some scientists who believe the chemical is dangerous in low doses. The study, published in the latest issue of Toxicological Sciences, was led by Dr Earl Gray at the EPA laboratory in North Carolina, who has 30 years' experience of studying toxic
chemicals. He played a leading role in investigating the endocrine-disrupting effects of BPA. Dr Gray and colleagues failed to find any discernible adverse
effects in the rats or their offspring after feeding them with doses of BPA up to 4,000 times greater than the maximum exposure of humans in the general population. Dr Gray, however, has been attacked by Frederick vom Saal of the University of Missouri who was one of the first scientists to
suggest a link between low doses of BPA and heath effects resulting from endocrine disruption.
In a letter to Toxicological Sciences, Dr vom Saal accuses Dr Gray of conducting a flawed study by using a strain of rats that were not sensitive to low doses of oestrogen, the female sex hormone that BPA is said to mimic. "By failing to establish the sensitivity of the animal model to the class of chemical being tested, the authors violated US National
Toxicology Programme recommendations for low-dose studies of endocrine-disrupting chemicals," Dr vom Saal wrote.
However Dr Gray has vigorously defended the study, saying that the scientific methodology it used has been recommended by regulatory agencies charged with testing potentially toxic substances. In contrast, Dr Gray said, the studies finding a link between BPA and ill-effects have been criticised by the same agencies as "inadequate", "not replicable" and "extremely limited".
"The 'insensitive rat' argument has been used for almost a decade in some quarters to try to dismiss every well-conducted rat study that obtained negative results with
BPA. It is based on a failure to recognise the basic endocrinology underlying the cellular and molecular basis for tissue-specific responses to oestrogens in different strains
of rats," Dr Gray said.
Professor Richard Sharpe, one of Britain's leading specialists in endocrine-disrupting chemicals in the environment, said that Dr Gray's study was one of the best he had seen into the highly controversial "link" between BPA and endocrine disruption. "The results [of the study] are unequivocal and robust and are based on a valid and rational scientific foundation," said Professor Sharpe, of the Medical Research Council's Centre for Reproductive Biology in Edinburgh.
"They tell us that, in vivo in female rats, bisphenol A is an extremely weak oestrogen, so weak that even at levels of exposure 4,000-fold higher than the maximum exposure in humans in the general population there are no discernible adverse effects." The study with many other studies, "more or lessclose the door" on the possibility that bisphenol A has oestrogenic effects we need worry about, said Professor Sharpe, one of first scientists to discover falling sperm counts in Western men.
"Fundamental, repetitive work on bisphenol A has sucked in tens, probably hundreds of millions of dollars from government bodies and industry, which, at a time when research money is thin on the ground, looks increasingly like an investment with a nil return," he said. "All it has done is show there is a huge price to pay when initial studies are adhered to as being correct when the second phase of peer review, namely the ability of other laboratories to repeat the initial studies, says otherwise."
Bisphenol A : authorities warned of health risk
Perpignan (France), 19 May 2008 - The results of a new scientific analysis revealing the dangers of bisphenol A (BPA) have been conveyed to the French Agency for Food Safety (AFSSA), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as well as the Canadian Health Authorities. The analysis was commissioned by the group, Antidote Europe. BPA is a key component in many plastic products, ranging from plastic baby bottles to food containers and even CDs. Canada is the first country in the world to complete a risk assessment of BPA, and to initiate a public consultation on whether to completely ban polycarbonate baby bottles which contain the substance.
A close examination of BPA using an advanced scientific technique called toxicogenomics showed that normal gene activity was severely compromised.
Human cell cultures exposed to BPA and its by-products caused the genes in the cells to behave as if the cells were becoming diseased. The early
warning signs indicated the cells were headed for disease processes associated with cancer, hormone imbalance and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's
Animal tests conducted in the 1980s showed BPA to be safe in human food. Since then, however, BPA has become suspect at causing health problems,
especially in unborn children, at very low concentrations. Says Dr Claude Reiss, president of Antidote Europe, "with more than 250 rat strains and
330 mouse strains to choose from, it is not surprising that the health authorities have been confused for the past 25 years and unbelievably slow
to recognise the dangers to human health of BPA. That is why we used human cells in our analysis".
Notes to editors:
A "proof of principle" as to the efficacy of toxicogenomics as a screening method has been demonstrated in a study by Antidote Europe on several test
chemicals (http://www.antidote-europe.org/substances_gb.htm), including BPA and ingredients found in pesticides and cosmetics. The results have
been logged in ArrayExpress in compliance with the MIAME (Minimum Information About a Microarray Experiment) database. Ref. E-TOXM-31 and
Antidote Europe is a non profit NGO, comprising research scientists with past careers at the French-based Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) sharing a common goal of improving human health.
Bisphenol A - a chemical time bomb caused by animal test?
Perpignan (France), 8 July 2009 – Antidote Europe welcomes the decision by the French Secretary of State for Ecology, Ms Chantal Jouanno, to instruct the national Food Safety Agency (AFSSA) to take a closer look at the chemical bisphenol A (BPA).
Laboratory results obtained by Antidote Europe suggest that BPA could be a "chemical time bomb" *. Originally manufactured in 1936 as a synthetic oestrogen for women, it was soon discarded and replaced by a much more powerful synthetic oestrogen, called diethyl stilbestrol (DES). Between the 1940s and the 1970s, DES was prescribed to 200 000 French women to prevent miscarriage, resulting in one of the biggest drug tragedies in modern times. In addition to causing malformations and cancer in the reproductive organs of children born to DES mothers, these effects were seen in some of their grandchildren as well, especially in
girls. Unlike DES, we are all unknowingly exposed to BPA on a daily basis because of its presence in so many manufactured articles, ranging
from dummies to plastic drinking bottles and the linings of tinned food and beverages. DES and BPA share strikingly similar structures, hence
the concern that BPA may have similar biological activity to DES **.
According to "experts" who have largely relied on animal data, BPA poses only a "mild" or "insignificant" risk to humans, despite the fact that this chemical continues to build up in our bodies. These same experts also tell us that pregnant women and their unborn foetuses have nothing to fear because "pregnant women rapidly metabolise and excrete this chemical". Surely these experts must know that the speed at which a substance is broken down and passed out of the body has nothing to do with its biological activity while it is inside the body? Otherwise medical drugs would have no effect! This is a basic principle of pharmacokinetics (drug action).
These facts have been conveyed to the French Minister for Ecology.
Antidote Europe is a non-profit association created by scientists and researchers working towards biomedical research methods that represent sound science.
For interviews please contact:
You can also read this press release on :
* See http://www.antidote-europe.org/substances_gb.htm for laboratory
results and http://www.antidote-europe.org/cp25jun07_gb.htm for
registration of results in an international scientific database
** See http://www.antidote-europe.org/bpa_gb.htm
Zwire. 27 September 2008.
Who does the FDA protect?
Emily Kesten , Shenanigans
We're lab rats.
Lab rats for the Food and Drug Administration and the chemical, food and drug industries that they serve. At least, it's hard not to come to this conclusion when studies
continually reveal adverse effects from products that the FDA claims are safe.
The aspartame controversy has been going on since its inclusion in our food supply since 1981. Originally, Jere E. Goyan, then head of the FDA, refused to approve the manmade chemical because of increased brain leisons, tumors and lymphoma in rats. On his first day in office, President Ronald Reagan removed Goyan. More than that, investigations have suggested that the early studies funded by G.D. Searle & Company (of which Donald Rumsfeld was CEO at the time) doctored the results by replacing dead rats with new ones.
A 2007 study by the Ramazzini Foundation had toxicology and epidemiology experts and the nonprofit Center for Sci-ence in the Public Interest begging the FDA to take another look at aspartame, which can be found in more than just Coke and Pepsi and sugar-free gum. That study, along with others not funded by the companies that make aspartame, found increases in lymphoma, leukemia and breast cancers in rats or correlations between cancer rates and individuals' con-sumption. It also
begged the question of how the chemical affects people exposed to it at a much younger age.
The FDA said thanks but no thanks. Much like how they responded to studies finding that artificial food coloring and additives can cause ADHD characteristics in children. The latest headliner has involved plastic bottles with bisphenol A. The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in mid-September and involved
adults. Scientists linked higher levels of bisphenol A in people to higher rates of heart disease, diabetes and liver abnormalities. The FDA said it would look into it, but that it
felt a "safe" dose was 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day, and that we should be just dandy. The Grocery Manufacturers Association and American Plastics Council nodded approvingly at the FDA, of course.
But there's more to the BPA story. There's breast cancer. BPA acts like a hormone, specifically, estrogen. And it only takes a minute, trace amount, or parts per billion 0.0000000705 ounces (I triple-checked those 0s). Retha Newbold, Ph.D., head of developmental endocrinology at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, said that BPA acts like an evil twin of estrogen and interacts with proteins and DNA as well as switch on and off genes under that hormone's control.
If a fetus receives too much estrogen during fetal development, it creates abnormally developed breast tissue and causes oversensitivity to the hormone. Animal studies, according to Self magazine's October issue, show that the offspring of pregnant mice exposed to "extremely" low doses of BPA develop preancerous cells and tumors in their mammary glands at the human equivalent age of early 20s. In other words, they are primed for cancer that could become untreatable.
The California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute in San Francisco discovered that noncancerous breast cells in women that were exposed to a "safe" dose of BPA suddenly had healthy cells that behaved abnormally - like aggressive cancer cells. The senior scientist behind the study, Shanaz H. Dairkee, Ph.D., said he cannot say it is BPA alone, but there was cause and effect.
If you want to avoid BPA and the risk, you have to quit more than plastic bottles. Between 6 to 7 million pounds of the chemical is produced each year in food packaging. That
0.0000000705 ounce amount leaches from cans into your food. The Environmental Working Group tested 97 canned items from three states in 2007 and discovered that 57 percent of food items were contaminated. The EWG study of canned goods found that a "mere one to three servings could expose a woman or child to the doses of BPA that caused serious adverse effects in animals."
That's a lot of money for those companies - not to mention pharmaceutical companies producing cancer drugs. It's FDA inaction (or implementation) like this that makes one believe that the FDA, as the chief scientist of Environmental Health Sciences told Self, "The system doesn't protect public health. It protects products."
Cancer chemical was approved by animal tests
Daily Express. 7 October 2010.
Cancer alert on chemical in plastic drink bottles. The
chemical found in every day containers may cause prostate
By Jo Willey
[See more at: http://antidote-europe.org/index.htm]
A “GENDER bending” chemical found in everyday plastic food and
drink containers, tins and baby bottles may cause prostate
cancer, scientists are warning. Levels of the chemical
typically found in humans can damage the prostate but also
make it inflamed – creating ideal conditions for the disease
to develop. It is the latest research to show that bisphenol A
(BPA) is harmful to human health.
It is widely used to harden plastics and is found in baby
bottles, CD cases, plastic cutlery and the lining of food and
drink cans. Scientists are concerned at its use because it
mimics the female sex hormone oestrogen and may interfere with
the way hormones are processed by the body.
Some studies on animals have shown the chemical to be safe,
but others have linked it to breast cancer, liver damage,
obesity and fertility problems.
It is estimated that BPA is detectable in more than 90 per
cent of people and is one of the world’s most widely
manufactured chemicals, with more than 2.2million tons made
each year. Denmark became the first EU country to ban BPA in
food and drink containers for the under-threes earlier this
year and it has also been barred in Canada and three US
The latest research, led by experts at the University of
Illinois in Chicago, saw newborn rats exposed to a low dose
of BPA at levels similar to those found in humans. It was
discovered the level of BPA significantly increased the rats’
susceptibility to certain lesions – which are a known
precursor of prostate cancer. The effect was the same whether
the chemical was delivered by injection or given orally.
Gwynne Lyons, director of the Chemicals, Health and
Environment Monitoring Trust, said: “This is another study
which builds on the mounting evidence to suggest that BPA can
contribute to prostate problems in men. But it is not just men
who should be wary. “Growing numbers of studies suggest this
hormone-disrupting chemical also contributes to breast cancer
in women and behavioural effects in children. It is high time
that regulatory agencies forced industry to use safer
Only days ago the Daily Express revealed how man-made
chemicals in every home are increasing the risk of breast
cancer. The synthetic substances used in foods, cosmetics,
household products, plastic and medical treatments are linked
to a surge in rates of the disease.