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A variety of polycarbonate bottles, including the popular Nalgene shatter-free bottles contain the chemical bisphenol A. In sufficient quanitities the chemical is believed to disrupt hormones, but the FDA concludes in an early report that the levels in plastics are low enough not to be harmful.
FDA continues its insistence that the plastic is safe, says its studies on mice more accurate than recent human study

Last month, DailyTech reported that in a preliminary review, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had declared the plastic Nalgene safe.  While Nalgene and other products contain the hardening agent bisphenol A (BPA), a known disruptive agent of human physiology, the FDA concluded that sufficient quantities of the chemical did not leach into the liquids stored inside the bottles to cause harm.  Critics blasted the ruling, pointing out that studies have indicated that small, but significant quantities did leach into the water.

Now the first major study on the effects of bisphenol A has been completed and it indicates a clear link between the compound and diabetes and heart disease.  In the study, researchers from Britain and the University of Iowa examined a U.S. government health survey of 1,455 adults who had given urine samples.  The adults were then split into different groups based on the levels of BPA found in their urine.  All the adults were within the "safe" levels of BPA, according to the FDA's standards.

The study discovered that in the highest BPA group there were more than twice as many people with diabetes and heart disease.  No correlation between BPA and cancer was shown.

While the study certainly seems to indicate a clear link between BPA and these diseases, it raises a chicken and egg sort of debate.  If the findings hold true in additional tests, there are two possibilities.  One possibility is that the disease came first and somehow raised the body’s absorption of BPA.  The other possibility is that the BPA came first and somehow interact with the patients' bodies, putting them at higher risk of diabetes and heart disease.

Despite the fact that the largest study to date now suggests a link between "safe" BPA levels and disease, the FDA is refusing to change its stance.  In a scientific review the FDA declared that BPA is "safe" within suggested guidelines.  Laura Tarantino, head of the FDA's office of food additive safety, states, "Right now, our tentative conclusion is that it's safe, so we're not recommending any change in habits."

Tarantino says that if customers want to voluntarily avoid the chemical; that is their decision.  She says that bottles bearing the recycling symbol 7 are BPA-containing, and that heating food in these containers helps to release the BPA.

Ms. Tarantino and the FDA also argued that the agency's own studies on mice were more thorough and extensive than the recent human study.  The American Chemistry Council, an industry trade group, agreed and was quick to blast the study, saying it was flawed, substantially limited, and "proved nothing".

Several states are restricting BPA use, and there is legislation that may soon ban BPA use in baby bottles in Canada.  On a national level in the U.S. and in the European Union, the government food and health agencies have suggested that the compound is safe.  The FDA has acknowledged in the past that its own studies indicate "some concern" of the possible effects of BPA exposure on the brain in fetuses, infants and children.  BPA is commonly used in baby bottles in the U.S. and EU.



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RE: Studies are flawed
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 9/17/2008 11:01:56 AM , Rating: 4
I think these days we tend to be more critital of so called "disorders". Before we just had people who were a little odd, but now they are disorder #1, #2, #4, etc... Frankly I don't buy into the ADHD crap. If parents would learn some discipline and exercise it when they go running around like wild animals, it would slow down pretty fast. Unfortunately parents in this day and age are largely failures on a massive scale. It's no wonder we have so many screwed up kids.


RE: Studies are flawed
By FITCamaro on 9/17/2008 11:55:30 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah ADHD is a load of crap. If you're kid is running around like crazy, you smack them. If they won't sit still and study, you spank them for doing badly in school.

You don't drug them up. And for you people who think spanking or slapping your child is child abuse, your parents need to smack you. It wasn't child abuse in the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, or 90s. It isn't child abuse now.

And kids were a hell of a lot more respectful and did far better in school before all this crap started. Why? Parenting.


RE: Studies are flawed
By superkdogg on 9/17/2008 2:03:55 PM , Rating: 2
I'll ignore the fact that your premises that kids used to be better behaved and smarter are wrong and address the child abuse issue (you'll be surprised).

Spanking is not child abuse. Never has been, and never will be. It can be one tool for a parent.

The problems with endorsing it are that it takes a judicious and patient parent to try to use physical pain to teach. Those are exactly the sort of parent who are going to find the other, more effective means of teaching.

Secondly, spanking needs to be done for the benefit of the child, not because the parent is angry. Much of the time that's the rub. When a parent is angry the options get narrower....

Third, it's never ok to injure the child. There's nothing you can allowably do to a child that you can't do to another adult. Children are not property, they're people-even if you did create them, a good rule of thumb is that if it's criminal to do to your neighbor, it's criminal to do to a child.


RE: Studies are flawed
By FITCamaro on 9/17/2008 2:37:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Spanking is not child abuse. Never has been, and never will be. It can be one tool for a parent.


That's what I said. But there are many people who seek to make it count as child abuse.

quote:
The problems with endorsing it are that it takes a judicious and patient parent to try to use physical pain to teach. Those are exactly the sort of parent who are going to find the other, more effective means of teaching.


If one isn't ready to take the time and patience to be a parent, one should not do anything that might result in them becoming a parent. Or take the proper steps to insure they don't become one.

quote:
Secondly, spanking needs to be done for the benefit of the child, not because the parent is angry. Much of the time that's the rub. When a parent is angry the options get narrower....


I didn't say parents should spank their kids because they're angry. I said they should spank them because they deserve it. Because they were misbehaving.

quote:
Third, it's never ok to injure the child. There's nothing you can allowably do to a child that you can't do to another adult.


I never said it was ok.

quote:
Children are not property, they're people-even if you did create them, a good rule of thumb is that if it's criminal to do to your neighbor, it's criminal to do to a child.


Children are not property in the sense they are not slaves. But as a parent, you are responsible for your child and have the right to control what they do, when they do it, and who they do it with. They can rebel if they want, but then you can punish them if you so choose. I was taught at a very young age that if I didn't like my parents rules, I was free to leave. Did it seem unfair at the time? Of course. But I'm glad they raised me to have respect for authority. Even today at 25 and as a working adult, when going to lunch with older co-workers I tend to move toward sitting in the back seat to let the older guys have the front. Because that was ingrained into me.


RE: Studies are flawed
By superkdogg on 9/17/2008 6:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't necessarily disagreeing with you on every point. I was confirming that it's not abuse and it acutally pisses me off when people claim spanking is abuse because that builds up sympathy for those convicted of abuse or with their kids in custody-they just claim all they did was spank them-when in fact it is almost without fail much more than that.

I was trying to explain that spanking can be a tool when used responsibly, but highlighting that people tend to be pro- or anti- corporal punishment when in fact there is a very wide gray area. Further, it's important to differentiate 'why' and 'when' children receive spankings because in my experience spanking is the preference when a parent doesn't know what else to do, doesn't have the time or means to try something else, or is overwhelmed. One thing that is inarguable is that there is no magic in spanking-it can be effective, but there's nothing showing it's more effective than anything else.

The societal value that changed wasn't punishment-it was attitude toward authority in general in the home. When we were kids, more often than not if you got in trouble with school, your parents believed the teacher and followed up with discipline at home. Now, parents are all too fast to blame the school/cop/social worker for their kids' mistakes or deny that they happened at all. The selfish me-first Reagan generation needs to realize that even their beautiful little angel that never lost a soccer game (because they don't keep score) and always got a trophy (because everybody's special) sometimes throws spitwads.

We can agree on the point that parenting is not all it can be nowadays. I don't think it was ever all that great, just that it used to be parents felt it was a priority to present themselves better whereas many nowadays band together to rebel against the 'evil' schools and 'unfair' teachers rather than working with them to fix the situations.


RE: Studies are flawed
By foolsgambit11 on 9/17/2008 3:51:42 PM , Rating: 2
Historical precedent can only take you so far. Slavery wasn't abuse in the 15th century, or the 16th, or the 17, or the 18th, or even more than half of the 19th century. The disenfranchisement of women wasn't immoral for generations, either.

Everything is alright, until it isn't any more. I did a quick Google for "study shows spanking good for kids", and guess what? Maybe it's just the 'liberal media bias' (except several of the top sites are government studies posted on government web sites), but all I got were studies linking spanking and corporal punishment to negative results. It takes time for public attitudes to change (it took decades for civil rights causes, and we're still trying to improve), and I think that change is in its infancy in this issue.

Lastly, Geoffrey Canada was on NPR's Fresh Air this week, and he mentioned that there are no studies that have linked corporal punishment of children to improved outcomes in any aspect of their life. I don't know if that's true or not, but I thought I'd throw out the challenge to the readership here, knowing you're all excellent at scouring the web for this kind of stuff.


RE: Studies are flawed
By masher2 (blog) on 9/17/2008 4:36:17 PM , Rating: 2
> "all I got were studies linking spanking and corporal punishment to negative results"

From one major study on corporal punishment:
quote:
It should be noted that neither the pro-spanking or anti-spanking studies are truly scientific - they cannot be modeled or reproduced by other researchers, and the studies are often heavily biased toward producing a result that affirms the researcher's personal beliefs.

Another serious flaw in many of the anti-spanking studies is the lumping together of all types of physical violence and assaults by adults upon kids, and referring to this as corporal punishment...


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