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A petition to ban bisphenol A, or BPA, was denied by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because it failed to provide scientific evidence needed to change current regulations.

BPA is a compound that hardens plastic and is used in thousands of everyday consumer items including the lining of food cans, food containers, DVD cases, shower curtains, and baby bottles. The compound has become controversial because it mimics estrogen and thus could induce hormonal responses.

The agency did agree to rule on whether to ban BPA use in food and beverage packaging as part of the settlement of a lawsuit reached with Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in December.

"The FDA denied the NRDC petition because it did not have the scientific data needed for the FDA to change current regulations, which allows the use of BPA in food packaging," FDA spokesman Douglas Karas said.

"I cannot stress enough that this is not a final safety determination on BPA."

The FDA is working toward completion of another updated safety review on BPA this year to include all relevant studies and publications.

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