June 17, 2024

NRDC Makes To Do List For The FDA

Slowly rolling out proposed rules mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is one thing, but if the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) really wants to show consumers that it’s serious about protecting public health, it has more work to do So says the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), anyway.

FDAlogothumbTo show Americans that it has our backs, the agency needs to tackle three major threats to public health, Peter Lehner, the NRDC’s executive director, says in a recent blog post. They are: ending the use of antibiotics in livestock, banning Triclosan and protecting consumers from the use of BPA and other chemical contaminants of food.

“Back in 1977, the FDA concluded that feeding antibiotics to farm animals was a threat to human health, and yet it did next to nothing to stop it over the next three decades,” Lehner says. The NRDC maintains that the use of antibiotics in livestock feed generates “subergbugs” that resistant to antibiotics. In May 2011, the group filed a lawsuit against the FDA to fend the use of antibiotics in animal feed and won. The FDA filed an appeal proposing voluntary guidelines for the industry, instead.  The Court of Appeals has not yet ruled on the issue.

Triclosan is a chemical found in many antibacterial soaps. “Back in 1978, the FDA considering banning triclosan from soaps because it was no more effective at fighting germs than traditional soap, and it was linked to problems with the brain, liver, and splee,” Lehner says. But the agency has yet to act.

Finally, says Lehner, chemicals from pesticides, packaging and food additives pose a significant risk to human health. BPA, for example, has been found to alter the development of the brain, prostate, and breast tissue, he says.  There have been numerous studies about the dangers of BPA. The FDA has been reviewing the safety of BPA for five years.   In April 2012,  the agency ruled against a proposed BPA ban, saying more research is needed before a decision can be made. In July 2012, the FDA announced a ban of  BPA in baby bottles, and sippy cups, but the decision came after manufacturers stopped using the chemical due to consumer pressure. In the absence of  federal action, at least 11 states have acted to ban BPA in food packaging.  Several countries also ban the chemical in food containers including, Canada , China,  South Africa and the EU.


  1. I don’t see them trying to protect the patients in the Meningitis Outbreak..These victims are still dealing with sickness and are being diagnosed with Arachnoiditis! How many of you know what this disease is???? I also have this disease from a ESI, done in 2005..Government and FDA needs to address this growing disease..

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