FDA defends plastic linked with health risks

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration is defending its assessment that bisphenol A or BPA -- a chemical widely used in plastic baby bottles and in food packaging -- is safe.

The FDA's defense comes even as a preliminary study of the chemical's health effects links it with possible risks for heart disease and diabetes.

A senior FDA scientist tells an expert panel that a margin of safety exists that is -- in her words -- "adequate to protect consumers, including infants and children, at the current levels of exposure."

A study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that adults exposed to higher amounts of BPA were more likely to report having heart disease and diabetes.

The study authors say the results "deserve scientific follow-up."

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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