There is a current debate over the question of banning bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical which hardens plastic and is found in baby bottles and the lining of cans. In September 2008, the FDA, which regulates the use of BPA in plastic food containers, bottles, tableware and can linings, drafted a risk assessment which determined that BPA is safe. Not so fast, says a scientific advisory panel of government and academic scientists. According to the panel, a number of studies have shown a link between BPA and prostate cancer, diabetes and other health problems in animals. The panel says that the FDA ignored that evidence in making its safety assessment of BPA. The National Toxicology Program reviewed some of the studies in question and decided that there was some concern about BPA affecting brain and behavioral development in babies and children. Critics of the chemical argue that BPA should be removed from food containers because current exposure levels are not safe. Due to consumer concerns, some retailers sell baby bottles without BPA. A trade group representing BPA manufacturers says that the companies will comply with whatever decision the FDA makes. The FDA has commissioned additional BPA research.
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