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FDA to review decision on BPA safety

Associated Press / June 3, 2009
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WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing its conclusion from last year that a much-debated chemical used in baby bottles and food containers is safe for infants.

Hours earlier, two influential Democrats sent a letter yesterday questioning that decision to new FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg. She has pledged to restore confidence in the agency by putting science first in its decision-making process.

The FDA ruled last year that trace amounts of bisphenol-A that leach out of bottles and food packaging are not dangerous. But the agency's own advisers faulted the report for relying on a small number of industry-sponsored studies, and consumer advocates said it ignored dozens of animal studies suggesting the chemical can interfere with infant hormone levels.

The agency's review will be completed in "weeks not months," said agency spokesman Michael Herndon.

In their letter, Representatives Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak questioned whether the decision, made under the Bush administration, may have been influenced by companies.