The scientists have sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) criticising the decision to review its opinion on the controversial chemical, saying the safety of the substance has been exhaustively studied in more than 900 studies, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported this week.
The group also charges the agency with stalling on delivering a verdict on BPA by commissioning further research into its effects, said the US paper which had received a copy of the letter from one of the signatories. The FDA has previously said it would deliver its decision by the end of next month.
"FDA's plans to spend significant time and money on a very well researched chemical are disturbing," said the academics who have all studied BPA.
They criticised an FDA move to spend a further $7m on more studies and cautioned that the research could be meaningless because the government had insisted on using rats that were resistant to BPA at low levels.
"The potential for fiscal waste, we believe, is magnified by our serious concerns that there are significant study design flaws in the (government's) research plans”, the letter added.
The group, many of whom have sat on BPA assessment panels, raised concerns that the government was merely seeking to delay making a decision on the safety of the substance.
"We are deeply troubled that the agency would announce these research plans in light of its decision to release a reassessment of BPA by Nov. 30”, they wrote to FDA head Dr Margaret Hamburg.
"This disconnect between research and reassessment raises concerns about whether the FDA is striving to resolve the critical public health issues raised by widespread exposure to BPA, or is avoiding making a decision because of the pending research, the results of which will not be available for review for many years."
BPA is a chemical widely used in polycarbonate plastic baby bottles, sippy cups and the linings of some food cans. Concern among consumers and politicians over the continued use of the chemical centre on studies that show it leaches from packaging into foodstuffs – particularly after the container has been heated.
It has been banned in a number of US states and Canada for use in food containers for babies and young children.