Color us cynical ...

A team of British and American scientists has found, in the first large study of humans exposed to a chemical widely used in everyday plastics, that people with higher levels of bisphenol A, also known as BPA, had higher rates of heart disease, diabetes and liver abnormalities. The research, "Association of Urinary Bisphenol A Concentration With Medical Disorders and Laboratory Abnormalities in Adults" and "Bisphenol A and Risk of Metabolic Disorders" is being published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The North American Metal Packaging Alliance, which represents can manufacturers, has already dismissed the JAMA study article as an "unsubstantiated scientific leap" and called for additional research.

The Food and Drug Administration is holding a public hearing today in Rockville to discuss whether BPA is safe for continued use in food packaging and liquid containers. Despite more than 100 studies by government-funded scientists and university laboratories that have linked BPA exposure to health effects in animals, the FDA has deemed it safe, largely on the basis of two studies funded by the chemical industry.

Color us cynical, but we’re not holding our breath wondering whether the Bush Administration will provide a cheerleading section for the packaging industry’s certain rejection of the findings: we’re only wondering what color the cheerleaders’ outfits will be – probably grey pinstripe, white shirt, and red tie.

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