The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can be so bloody annoying. (In fact, my mentor, Dr. Robert C. Atkins, used to refer to them as the “Effin”DA—and I couldn’t have come up with a better epithet myself!)
Case in point: With all the research out there about endocrine disrupters and the role they play in obesity, cancer, and other serious health issues, you would think that we would want these chemicals out of our environment as quickly as humanly possible.
And yet, the FDA is still authorizing the use of bisphenol A (BPA) in food packaging—and telling consumers that it’s perfectly safe. Despite a mountain of evidence to the contrary…
Ignoring their own science
Let me be perfectly clear about just how ridiculous this is: The FDA waved off its own scientific findings to allow the use of BPA to continue.
The Consortium Linking Academic and Regulatory Insights on BPA Toxicity (CLARITY-BPA) study found that, compared with controls, more than 20 percent of lab animals exposed to low doses of BPA suffered significant effects—including breast cancer, kidney disease, and prostatitis.
Sure, it’s possible that we wouldn’t see these same effects in human subjects. But is that really a chance we want to take with a compound that shouldn’t be on store shelves to begin with?
Not to mention, actual human data has raised similar red flags. Over the last five years alone, nearly 100 published studies have established ties between BPA and a host of reproductive, behavioral, and metabolic disorders.
This is a major problem. Especially considering the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that more than 90 percent of people over six years of age have detectable levels of BPA in their body.
And guess what? Children had higher levels than teens or adults! And women had higher levels than men. But if the FDA’s laboratory findings are any indication, the consequences hit both genders equally hard, exhibiting effects on numerous organs—ovaries, testicles, reproductive tracts, breasts, liver, kidneys, and the thyroid and pituitary glands.
BPA levels have also been linked to weight gain in women. And as I mentioned earlier, these effects are visible even with the smallest exposures.
Weeding out the source
So, where do you find BPA? I’ve discussed this before, but of course, it’s worth going over again…
BPA is still authorized for use in plastics and epoxy resins. You’ll commonly find it in auto parts, bottles, beverage containers, can linings, food packages, plastic dinnerware, toys, and water pipes to prevent corrosion—to name a few.
And that thermal receipt paper in adding machines, cash registers, and credit card terminals? You guessed it… another sneaky source of BPA. In other words, this chemical is hiding practically everywhere you turn.
Luckily, it’s also relatively easy to avoid if you make a few key changes:
- Use glass or stainless steel instead of plastic.
- Avoid canned foods (and fast food) like the plague.
- Don’t touch cash register receipts—have them emailed to you, if you can.
There’s also an app for hunting out BPA and other hazardous hidden chemicals, called Healthy Living from the Environmental Working Group (EWG). It can help you navigate the grocery store, as well as find safer cosmetics, cleaning products, and personal care products.
One final note (and I shouldn’t have to say it, but this is America, the land of corporate greed): Be wary of “BPA-free” labels. Many of the chemicals used to replace BPA—like bisphenol S (BPS), for example—look to be just as hazardous to your health.
Sadly, we simply don’t know the full scope of the potential harm of these “replacement” chemicals yet. But just because we haven’t fully established a causal relationship between plastics and serious health problems doesn’t mean the evidence isn’t there. And endocrine disruptors like BPA (and even BPS) could be costing us billions of dollars a year in preventable illness—not to mention, the human lives at stake.
I don’t know who originally said this, but it certainly applies here: “The decision to do nothing is a decision that costs something.” This particular price tag goes way beyond dollars and cents—and frankly, the FDA should be ashamed.
P.S. I talk more about common environmental toxins—and how to stay informed—in the April 2020 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“Staying healthy in a polluted world: How to protect yourself against the dangerous toxins you come face-to-face with on a daily basis”). Subscribers have access to this and all of my past content in the archives. So if you haven’t already, consider signing up today. All it takes is one click!
“Endocrine Society Experts Question FDA’s Statement on BPA.” Medscape Medical News, 11/01/2018. (medscape.com/viewarticle/904278)