Bisphenol A: A Chemical with Deep-Pocketed Friends

Bottle-feeding a babyThe same month that Martin Philbert was named the chair of a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel considering the safety of bisphenol A, a defender of the chemical made a $5 million grant to Philbert's research center. "Philbert did not disclose the donation, which is nearly 25 times larger than the $210,000 annual budget of the University of Michigan Risk Science Center, where he is founder and co-director," reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The donor, Charles Gelman, was once called "the second worst polluter in Michigan by the state's Department of Natural Resources." Gelman, a retired manufacturer of medical devices, is an "anti-regulation activist" who supports, the Cato Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Philbert said the donation would not impact his work. Bisphenol A is present in many household products, including aluminum cans, baby bottles and water bottles. Most studies on bisphenol A have linked the chemical to cancer, heart disease and reproductive failures in lab animals; "those that didn't find harm overwhelmingly were paid for by the chemical industry." Philbert's panel is expected to announce its findings soon.


Bisphenol A has also been associated with childhood obesity. As much as the right would love to blame the "lazy" parents and the left wants to blame" evil"fast food, there is growing evidence this chemical may play a role. Just google Bisphenol A and childhood obesity.