We all understand why in criminal law, a person is innocent until proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. But should that be the approach the FDA uses to determine food and drug safety? In general, we assume that our FDA extensively tests products and rejects any products that could risk our health, right? Maybe not you or me, but in general, people trust the FDA to keep them safe.
That’s why, when they see a warning label on a bottle of homeopathic medicine stating that pregnant women should not take the remedy without consulting a doctor, they often don’t buy the remedy at all. Never mind that just a few years ago, the FDA said that homeopathic medicine was nothing more than a sugar pill, incapable of doing anything at all since they chemically couldn’t find even trace amounts of any of the original substance still in them. Never mind that allopathic doctors and researchers have up until recently sworn up and down that homeopathy is nothing more than a placebo. Incapable of doing any good or any harm; no better than a sugar pill… So…OTC Homeopathic remedies are not even capable of doing harm, but since they haven’t been tested by the FDA, (and they are quickly replacing traditional medicines in the market place) the warning label gets slapped on there.
In the meantime, toxic chemicals, known to cause harm to the reproductive and nervous systems as well as cancer and other diseases in animals, enjoy the same innocence until proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt that people do in criminal court.
BPA, which has been taken out of our baby bottles and pacifiers in recent years, stood before the FDA recently. A petition to the FDA from The Natural Resources Defense Council would have banned the chemical bisphenol-A from all food and drink packaging, including plastic bottles and canned food. BPA actually does have dangers associated with it, unlike homeopathic OTC remedies. Yet, the Food and Drug Administration has decided to reject the petition and BPA will remain in our food packaging. The FDA’s response, “While evidence from 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.” See, they can’t penalize BPA, there’s still some doubt as to its real-life toxicity level in humans.
Now, here’s my question:
Since BPA has been found to be exceptionally dangerous in animal studies, and pregnant women eat food, shouldn’t all foods packaged in plastics containing BPA be labelled as a potential risk? One she should discuss with her doctor?
Or is the FDA playing favorites?