Bisphenol A, a chemical time bomb?

It is difficult to understand why food safety agencies continue to place their trust in ambiguous animal data when human data is readily available. The fact thatDES and BPA share striking similarities in their structures is extremely worrisome and lends weight to the possibility that BPA is a “chemical time bomb” in terms of our health.

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” 1. 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 2.

“According to “experts”’:http://antidote-europe.org/cp25aou08_gb.htm 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.

1. See http://antidote-europe.org/cp25jun07_gb.htm for registration of results in an international scientific database

2. See http://antidote-europe.org/bpa_gb.htm