The BPA Battle Heats Up: The Endocrine Society Takes a Stand

June 15th, 2009

The other week I noticed that a somewhat-obscure scientific organization, The Endocrine Society, was meeting in Washington, DC. For a moment, I stopped and wondered if they too might weigh in on the bisphenol A (BPA) debate now raging in DC.

“Nah,” I thought. “They’re non-political. I’ve never heard about them. They’ll just report on research, but they won’t actually make a  statement or engage in the debate.”

Wow. Was I wrong.

As I learned from – once again – the Environmental Working Group – The Endocrine Society actually issued its first ever scientific statement on BPA – the first in its 93-year-history.  The Society warned that BPA and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC) “ have effects on male and female reproduction, breast development and cancer, prostate cancer, neuroendocrinology, thyroid, metabolism and obesity, and cardiovascular endocrinology.”

The Society also warned that “The Precautionary Principle is key to enhancing endocrine and reproductive health, and should be used to inform decisions about exposure to, and risk from, potential endocrine disruptors.”

[For more on the Precautionary Principle, see this OrganicMania interview with Diane MacEachern, author of The Big Green Purse and a Founding Member of The Green Moms Carnival].

You can access the entire Scientific Statement here. It’s dense reading, and I confess I haven’t made it all the way through as yet – but what I have read is troubling. The report documents possible links between  endocrine-disrupting chemicals like BPA and a host of serious health issues such as cancer, ADHD, autism, and low sperm count.

In a separate action, EWG President Ken Cook sent a letter to Coca Cola’s CEO in which he noted “More than a decade ago, because of concerns about high levels of BPA in bioassays of teenagers and young adults, most Japanese food processing removed or dramatically reduced the use of BPA in can linings, switching to safer, less expensive PET(polyrthylene terephthalate) film lamination. As a result, a 2002 study found that BPA levels among Japanese students dropped by fully 50 percent between 1992 and 1999.”

Can you believe it? Those numbers are stunning.

When I started OrganicMania, I thought the main health issue we Moms faced was the food we put in our bodies. Little did I know it was just the tip of the iceberg. Plastic bottles, cans, household cleaners, make-up, baby shampoos, lotions and potions –   I’ve learned that substances like these contain minute amounts of carcinogens, endocrine disruptors and other chemicals. Scientists and regulators are still sorting out the cumulative effects of all these exposures.  As for me, there’s enough evidence there to follow the Precautionary Principle. That means sticking to simple, basic foods, make-up and personal care products, buying organic and natural whenever possible, and avoiding synthetic compounds.

I’ll be blogging a lot more about these issues in the future. I feel like the scales have fallen off my eyes. It’s not just about the food. It’s about so much more than that.  What do you think? Leave a comment and share.


Copyright OrganicMania 2009

3 Responses to “The BPA Battle Heats Up: The Endocrine Society Takes a Stand”

  1. Beth Terry, aka Fake Plastic Fish on June 16, 2009 12:04 am

    Wow, Lynn. This is important information.

    You know, my husband Michael and I have often discussed the idea that packaging should be part of organic certification. Food producers have to reveal all the ingredients in the food they sell — except that they don’t. Because packaging manufacturers don’t have to reveal the chemicals in their bottles and cans. One reason plastic is so fraught is that we just don’t know what chemicals were added to it to affect its characteristics. And they don’t have to tell us.

    Beth Terry, aka Fake Plastic Fish’s last blog post..FPF Anniversary! Year 2, Week 51 & 52 Results: 6.9 oz of plastic waste

  2. Lynn on June 16, 2009 7:13 pm

    Thanks, Beth, for your comment. I think it’s important info too – it’s amazing where this “green journey” has taken me. Looks like all those “old hippies” were right all along…! :)

  3. Organic and Green Mom Blog | BPA for Babies? Say No in Maryland: NOW! at Organic Mania on February 24, 2010 9:07 pm

    […] a while, you know I’ve written about the debate over BPA a lot over the past two years – like here, there, here and there, for […]

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