Dr John M. Rost, chairman of NAMPA, told FoodQualityNews.com that the authors’ argument has lost in the court of scientific opinion and the work is just another attempt at manipulating public perceptions about its safety.
Doses that produce statistically significant effects in animals are 1–4 magnitudes of order lower than the current lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) of 50 mg/kg/day for laboratory animals set by US National Toxicology Program, according to the scientists.
Considered and rejected
Rost said the theory about low dose exposures has already been considered and rejected by US FDA, European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Health Canada and the German Society of Toxicology.
The Vandenberg et al review is an update of the 2007 version to determine the evidence for low dose effects based on the LOAEL or the US EPA reference dose of 50 μg/kg per day.
“The fact that there are any studies showing low dose effects of BPA…indicates that the current safety guidelines for BPA are not protective of human health,” said the researchers.
Rost said the science is constantly moving which can be seen with the number of EFSA assessments.
“But their position has not changed. They are constantly reviewing the science so they have the best insight.
“There are constant BPA reports with links to certain illnesses and effects but it is the job of the experts to do a risk assessment and evaluate the relevance to human health.
“Not only do the authors ignore the conclusions of FDA, NIEHS, EFSA, and others, they do so with full admission that “we did not consider the quality of each of these studies, and some are certainly limited due to their size and/or design…”
He said the fact that the paper includes no new science raises questions as to why it was published.
“Yet a closer look at the journal, Endocrine Disruptors, provides ample reason for publication given that it boasts an editorial board comprised of a virtual who’s who of researchers with a long and colorful history of anti-BPA work.”
BPA is an endocrine disruptor that traditional toxicology studies indicate only affects exposed animals in doses as high as 50 mg/kg/day.
Rost said that the main function of the chemical is as a coating for corrosion resistance to stop the interaction between the metal and the food.
“BPA is the best packaging material to protect food, a move away from it doesn’t make sense when you look at the science-based research.
“There is ongoing research into non-BPA materials so that companies can be prepared for legislation and other things that can affect a BPA-based epoxy.
“The reality is companies substitute based on public perception and not safety risks. They clearly state that BPA is the best and safe but there are moving away to a more challenging material.
“FDA and EFSA will give an update next year which will hopefully alleviate some concerns and there will be a change of opinion and quiet the noise because safety will have been shown.”