ACC: New Study Provides No Evidence That BPA Causes Obesity

Sep 18, 2012, 10:00 ET from American Chemistry Council

Authors' own conclusions state "causation cannot be inferred;" Association between childhood obesity and BPA is speculative at best

WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Chemistry Council (ACC) issued the following statement in response to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) by Leonardo Trasande, M.D., New York University, et al, and scheduled to be discussed at a media briefing on Tuesday, September 18.  The following statement can be attributed to Steven G. Hentges, Ph. D., of the Polycarbonate/BPA Global Group of ACC:

"Attempts to link our national obesity problem to minute exposures to chemicals found in common, everyday products are a distraction from the real efforts underway to address this important national health issue. Due to inherent, fundamental limitations in this study, it is incapable of establishing any meaningful connection between BPA and obesity.  In particular, the study measures BPA exposure only after obesity has developed, which provides no information on what caused obesity to develop.

"The authors themselves state: 'Obesity develops over time, and causation cannot be inferred from a cross-sectional association of urinary BPA concentration…'  The authors further state that their work is 'at best hypothesis generating,' indicating that this study is speculative and might, at most, be the basis for conducting additional studies. 

"More relevant to actual, real-world safety is the recent, robust research funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and conducted by scientists at the government's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration. Consistent with previous human and animal studies, the Pacific Northwest study (Teeguarden et al.) indicates that, because of the way BPA is processed in the body, it is very unlikely that BPA could cause health effects at any realistic exposure level. Furthermore, regulators from Europe to Japan to the U.S. have recently reviewed hundreds of studies on BPA and repeatedly supported the continued safe use of BPA.

"It is also relevant to note that dozens of studies have monitored the body weight of laboratory animals exposed to BPA.  These studies found no consistent effect on body weight, indicating that BPA exposure is not likely to cause obesity."

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care®, common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $760 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is one of the nation's largest exporters, accounting for ten cents out of every dollar in U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation's critical infrastructure.

SOURCE American Chemistry Council