Thursday, November 6, 2008

Government Regulation and Independent Findings

Some people take for granted that government regulators are watching over our safety with an eagle eye.Others are skeptical, because they think regulatory agencies are either underfunded, or in the back pocket's of industry.

Is it ethically OK for a company, in defending its own behaviour, to trust in, rely upon, and point to a regulatory decision?

Case in point: this story from the Washington Post: BPA Ruling Flawed, Panel Says

The Food and Drug Administration ignored scientific evidence and used flawed methods when it determined that a chemical widely used in baby bottles and in the lining of cans is not harmful, a scientific advisory panel has found. In a highly critical report to be released today, the panel of scientists from government and academia said the FDA did not take into consideration scores of studies that have linked bisphenol A (BPA) to prostate cancer, diabetes and other health problems in animals when it completed a draft risk assessment of the chemical last month. The panel said the FDA didn't use enough infant formula samples and didn't adequately account for variations among the samples.

So, what are manufacturers to do now? The FDA says BPA is safe. But at least some reputable scientists think the FDA is wrong about that. Can companies go ahead, in good conscience, and use BPA in their products?

Read it all here.

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