New findings raise more concerns over Bisphenol A
A research study published in December 2009 has caused a division of opinion between the French Minister of Health and the Minister for Ecology. The Health Minister had decided against a ban on baby feeding bottles containing Bisphenol A (BPA), but the Minister for Ecology has demanded a re-evaluation of the risks, following the results of research on the effect of BPA on human intestinal cells.
Municipal crèches in Paris and several French cities have already imposed a ban on polycarbonate feeding bottles containing BPA, a chemical food contaminant that is an endocrine disruptor that can mimic female estrogens, the female hormones that play a vital role in the development of the brain and of reproductive and cardiovascular systems. The linings of cans of powdered baby milks and baby foods may also contain BPA.
Most research into the harmful effects of BPA has been carried out on mice and rats, but the study in France conducted by the Food Toxicology Department of the National Institute for Agricultural Research, INRA, examined both rodents and cultured human intestinal cells. The results showed the effects of endocrine disruptors from food sources and demonstrated the intestine’s great sensitivity to BPA. The contaminant affects human intestinal permeability, limiting the natural exchange in the intestinal walls and contributing to water retention in the body. In female rodents, the scientists postulated that BPA may increase the risk of inflammatory gut diseases, because it may hinder the development of intestinal immune defences.
In English: http://www.international.inra.fr/press/bisphenol_a_affects_intestinal_function
And in French: http://www.inra.fr/presse/action_bisphenola_sur_intestin_demontree