Susanne Rust and Meg Kissinger of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel used the federal Freedom of Information Act to obtain and review dozens of government e-mails and more than 100 attached files to find that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration actively leaned on BPA industry lobbyists “to do much of their work for them” during the approval process for bisphenol A.
The reporters say that “BPA, used to make hard, clear plastic common in many food product containers, is found in the urine of 93% of Americans. It has been linked to neurological defects, diabetes, breast and prostate cancer and heart disease.”
The FDA worked to discredit a Japanese study that linked BPA to miscarriages by going to a lobbyist – before the government’s scientists even had a chance to review the study. And both studies the FDA relied upon to approve BPA were funded by chemical makers.
At the same time, the reporters found, independent BPA experts had not been given the same level of access to the FDA and in fact had found it difficult to even get their opinions heard during the process.
The e-mails Rust and Kissinger obtained appear to paint a pretty detailed picture of the cozy relationship between BPA lobbyists and FDA officials, citing numerous examples of privileged access granted to industry representatives and instances in which the government officials appeared to defer to their opinions and judgments.