Reporting Stephanie Stahl
By Stephanie Stahl
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) –The Food and Drug Administration has decided not to ban BPA in food packaging, despite mounting pressure and a pile of research pointing to possible health risks.
A recent study looked specifically at the effect of BPA in children under three. It found the chemical can change their behavior, making them anxious or hyperactive. But the FDA says there’s just not enough scientific evidence yet to change current regulations.
Carrie Jaffe has three young children, and she’s careful about what they eat. That means only foods that are packaged without BPA.
“This is something that can affect our children now and for the rest of their lives,” said Carrie.
BPA is the industrial chemical Bisphenol A. It’s been used in all kinds of food containers, from baby bottles to tin cans.
Some experts say it could be a health risk, particularly for children and pregnant women.
“She will take the BPA into her body and immediately pass it through to her baby, where it can cause terrible damage to the baby,” said Dr. Philip Landrigan, a pediatrician.
But the FDA says there’s not enough evidence to show BPA in food containers is dangerous. A day before the court deadline for a decision, the FDA decided against banning BPA in packaging, but says it will continue investigating.
It’s a disappointment to Carrie, who favored banning the chemical. She’s worried about what years of exposure to BPA will do to her oldest child.
“I feel very concerned that I inadvertently exposed her to a lot of issues,” said Carrie.
Researchers say about 90 percent of Americans have traces of BPA in their bodies because of previous exposure.
It’s no longer in new baby bottles, and companies like Campbell’s Soup, in Camden, have started to phase it out.
For more on BPA, click here.