On May 7, 2015, the Developmental and Reproductive Toxicant Identification Committee unanimously voted to list bisphenol A as a female reproductive toxicant under Proposition 65. To date, this Committee is the only regulatory agency in the world to identify BPA as a female reproductive toxicant, even as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Food Safety Authority have concluded that BPA is safe when used in food contact materials and other consumer products. OEHHA published the updated Proposition 65 chemical list on May 11, 2015; the warning requirement for BPA will be effective on May 11, 2016.
The DART Identification Committee is one of two committees comprising the Science Advisory Board, which advise the California Governor and OEHHA on specified matters including the listing of chemicals under Proposition 65’s State’s Qualified Experts mechanism. In order to find that a chemical should be listed, the DART Identification Committee must conclude that the substance has been “clearly shown” through scientifically valid testing according to generally accepted principles, to cause the adverse effect.
Notwithstanding the fact that a number of conventional studies demonstrated no causative effect between BPA exposure and female reproductive toxicity, the Committee members appeared to rely on a number of unconventional studies for their decision. These unconventional studies do not meet the Committee’s guidelines for listing. The Committee’s decision therefore establishes new, and alarming, precedent for how unconventional studies may be relied upon for listing decisions, making the State’s Qualified Experts listing process even more unpredictable than it is already.