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FDA Panel Accepts Findings On BPA Despite Mistakes

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The Food and Drug Administration made mistakes when determining that a widely used chemical found in baby bottles and other plastics was harmless and the agency should redo its risk assessment, an FDA advisory panel ruled yesterday.

But the report's authors told the Science Board advisory panel that they could not say whether BPA was harmful or whether it should be banned in food and beverage containers. They left that to FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach to decide.

How von Eschenbach will respond is unclear, especially as the Bush Administration winds down. The FDA said earlier this week that it plans to do more research, which will likely take years. The agency will respond in writing to the Science Board's decision and the report within 30 days, said agency spokeswoman Judy Leon.

The FDA Science Board, a group of scientists drawn from academia, government and industry that advises the FDA commissioner, voted unanimously yesterday at a meeting in Gaithersburg to accept a report done by a subcommittee that blasted the agency's recent risk assessment of bisphenol-A (BPA), a compound found in baby bottles and the lining of food and soda cans.



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