Kind of a scary article. Basically, anything you eat that was packaged with plastic, will have trace amounts of chemicals in it, which have seeped in from the plastic packaging.
I try to keep my consumption of plastic to a minimum because of how bad it is for the environment, but the chicken I buy is still wrapped in it. Sometimes bananas come in a plastic bag (and I'm sure they're shipped in one) - though, of course, I don't eat the peel. I bring my lunch in tupperware every day. I use those little plastic bags for veggies and potatoes. The frozen veggies I buy are in a plastic bag.
This to me is the worst part:
So the FDA is like "Well, it might be poisoning people, but it also might not be, so there's no reason to ban it."Last month, the FDA denied a petition to ban the chemical, saying in a statement that while “some studies have raised questions as to whether BPA may be associated with a variety of health effects, there remain serious questions about these studies, particularly as they relate to humans and the public health impact.”
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Thread: Are we eating poison?
20-04-2012, 20:37 #1
Are we eating poison?
20-04-2012, 20:59 #2
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I've read some of those articles before, and they usually sum up to:
1) Yes the stuff can cause cancer (or whatever) in high doses
2) Regulations already in place make sure that doses we're exposed to are well below anything we might think as potentially dangerous
Point #2 is worth emphasizing. If scientists evaluate that a chemical is harmful only at higher than 10mg/L doses, then FDA sets the limit to 1mg/L, and then scientists find that the stuff ends up in our body in trace amount (i.e. 0.1mg/L or even less). And then scare articles are written not mentioning that the levels found were 100x or more below what was found to be harmful, i.e. well within the safe exposure zone.
Even if the scientists estimated the safe levels somewhat wrong, that's why FDA uses a safety margin in what's allowed. And if new evidence shows that those chemicals are harmful at lower-than-previously-thought doses, then FDA standards are changed appropriately. These standards also usually take into consideration pregnancy risks, how well we get rid of given chemicals, and how well given chemicals get absorbed in our body or travel to the brain...
Admittedly, sometimes the info is just not available, and I am not sure what the policy would be... probably just not approve the stuff until studies are done.
Also, the idiocy of people going on and on about those trace amounts, while eating fats and junk and not exercising properly.
From the same article:
“All materials intended for contact with food must meet stringent FDA safety requirements before they are allowed on the market,” says spokeswoman Kathryn Murray St. John. “Scientific experts review the full weight of all the evidence when making such safety determinations.”
20-04-2012, 21:13 #3
I totally understand the trace amounts thing, but it's the accumulation that worries me. Sure, maybe the packaging for my chicken has 1 mg/L of the chemical, but what if I'm eating 12 things in a day that have 1 mg/L? That puts me over the safe limit.
I would like to know when those safety regulations have been updated. The study on BPA dangers is only a year old - if the regulations are older than that, they could be out of date.
Without knowing more than is written in this article, it is just a bit concerning that the FDA would dismiss a concern. Maybe they did their due-diligence and retested, but that was not indicated in the quote in this article.
20-04-2012, 22:27 #4
RDarken has it right--it's the possibility of cumulative dosing that has some scientists worried. There isn't enough research done on some of these chemicals to know if the body completely eradicates them regularly, or if they accumulate in the system like some arsenic salts will do. Too much of what goes on in the food industry is secretive and proprietary.mv
20-04-2012, 22:58 #5
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Scientists are well aware that you don't just eat one item a day, they take that into consideration when they calculate safe doses.
They are also well aware that certain chemicals stay in the body longer (or indefinitely) and they take that into consideration too.
Now, if you want to throw more money at scientists so we study that more, that's of course fine by me... but I think on the whole that they keep a pretty good eye on it and that food is fairly safe... aside from people making poor dietary choices that is.
20-04-2012, 23:05 #6
If the FDA outright banned everything that had a possibility of harming humans, with no firm guidelines as to what constitutes an acceptable maximum dosage, they'd have to ban far more than just BPA.
THAT SAID, exercise good consumer judgement. Don't leave water bottles in the sun or in your car and then drink from them; you should be buying reusable water bottles anyway and filling them from the tap or a filter, so make sure your bottle is BPA free. Packaged foods are far more unhealthy for all the fats, oils, and salt that goes into them than the BPA, so cut down on that stuff anyway. And above all, keep anything with plasticizers or other estrogen mimics away from women who are pregnant or who might become pregnant. Fetuses are far more sensitive to this stuff than adults.
20-04-2012, 23:36 #7
plastics and other chemicals are everywhere, right through the whole food chain. you can't get away from it even if you really try. it's in the water, the soil, everywhere. it's pretty saddening.
20-04-2012, 23:58 #8
yesterday I was reading an article on yahoo...and
"They're sweetened with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), which, according to tests from the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, may be contaminated with mercury. The group tested 55 samples of HFCS and found mercury in a third of them at levels three times higher than what the average person should consume in a day. "
it was about instant oatmeal...but I wonder if our friend hfcs has these levels in ALL of what its put into (good thing I dont drink sugared drinks or eat instant oatmeal)
21-04-2012, 00:04 #9
As for stuff like this, given how litigious our society is, if this were really a concern someone would be suing. They practically bankrupted DOW over breast implants causing problems that were proven to be caused by other things. There are thousands of VERY rich (which I mention simply in the context of having resources available to do a pretty thorough search) product liability lawyers out there who spend all a lot of their time looking for bad products to sue companies over.
Also, BPA just sounded a lot like the power lines causing cancer bull when I first started hearing about it. (Which was back when we first got our daughter around January 2008. Hard to believe it's been four years....)
And I just ate lunch out of a plastic container I used to reheat leftover rice and curry from my mother in law.
I mean really, we've been using plastics and the petroleum products they come from for decades and the life expectancy keeps going up as well as improvements in quality of life during our later years.
And that's not even considering the benefits we've gained from plastics in terms of convenience, life saving medical equipment/procedures, saftey equipment, et cetera.
you should be buying reusable water bottles anyway
21-04-2012, 00:46 #10
Blade, while life expectancy may be going up, doesn't it also seem like more and more people are getting cancer? I'm not saying it's due to plastics, but I often wonder if cancer was always this prevalent in humans (but we only just learned how to identify it).