When it comes to BPA and new legislation, scientific reform should parallel legal reform.

by Nick
(Montreal)

The recent introduction of new legislation to update the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) is great news for all consumers. If passed, it will ensure that chemical companies shoulder a great deal more responsibility when it comes to the chemicals they use in consumer products.

But a recent article at Nature.com makes a good point. In addition to updated legislation, we also need to look at updating the way in which scientific studies are performed.

Here is an excerpt from the article:

"But scientific reform is needed as well. For decades, regulatory bodies have relied on guideline studies conducted under national and internationally agreed standards known as Good Laboratory Practice (GLP). This governs how the studies are planned, performed, monitored, recorded, reported and archived. These standards are invaluable, providing a guarantee of reliability and cross-comparability for studies on chemical safety. But the glacial pace of consensus building and validation required to update guidelines can leave gaping holes that allow the approval of chemicals of questionable safety."

The key phrase there is "glacial pace".

If the intention of new legislation is to protect the public from harm, then studies and results need to be conducted and reported in a timely fashion.

If the studies lag behind, a new loophole is created for chemical companies to defer changes to their products. In spite of what they might already know, they can simply shrug and cite the lack of published scientific studies as an excuse for not acting.

Read the full article here...

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