Group Sues to Force BPA Ban in Food Packaging
June 30, 2010
A leading environmental group filed a court challenge today to the Food and Drug Administration''s handling of bisphenol A, aiming to force the agency to act on a 20-month-old request to bar the chemical from food packaging. The lawsuit, filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, charges FDA with dragging its feet on bisphenol A, also known as BPA. A man-made mimicker of estrogen, BPA is believed by scientists to be an endocrine disruptor with potentially adverse health consequences for children and fetuses. FDA walked back its earlier assessment of BPA earlier this year, declaring that it has "some concerns" about the chemical''s effects on child and neo-natal health and initiating more studies over the next 18 to 24 months. NRDC, however, views the agency''s silence on its October 2008 petition seeking to block food and beverage packagers from using BPA as an untenable delay. "The FDA has failed to safeguard the food supply and protect the public from harm," NRDC attorney Aaron Colangelo said in a statement on the filing. "The FDA''s failure to regulate this chemical in food packaging in unjustified, and so we are forced to ask the court to intervene and order the agency to take action."