Anti-BPA fear-mongering unnecessary

By Andrew W. Griffin

Oklahoma Watchdog

Posted: July 27, 2009

OKLAHOMA CITY – With green living and eco-friendliness becoming all the rage in the Western world, liberals and their enablers in the mainstream media are always looking for some new thing to frighten the public. Last month it was swine flu. What’s next, we here at Red Dirt Report are wondering?

Dwelling on this, who out there on the Inter-tubes recall the Alar scare back in 1989? Yes, 20 years ago, 60 Minutes in the lead, scared the public into thinking that Alar, a chemical-based plant growth regulator sprayed on apples, was poisoning consumers of apples and apple sauce.

It was later revealed to be part of an irrational propaganda campaign that ignored that Alar has only a five in 1 million chance of Alar having a negative effect on a human being. And for that to happen, someone would have to consume 5,000 gallons of apple juice per day. Color me waterlogged!

Not one to let a good scare -promoted by the Subaru Forester-and-Birkenstock set – go unreported, a new media-driven propaganda scare campaign is underway. This time it is Bisphenol A, better known as BPA, a building block in plastic, used throughout the food and related industries, was alleged to be dangerous.

Reports were that BPA’s presence primarily in plastic bottles is endangering “millions of babies.”

Many of these fear-mongering media reports have been found to be misleading and “caused unnecessary public anxiety, according to an independent study released last week by the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) at George Mason University.

While Canada has announced it is banning the import of baby bottles containing BPA, and Wal-Mart Canada will be ceasing sales of BPA-laden water and baby bottles and related items, other countries, like Australia, New Zealand and the European Union’s Food Safety Authority have “found no cause for alarm.” Additionally, regulatory bodies and expert panels in France, Switzerland, Norway, Germany and Denmark found no problems with plastic products containing BPA.

The American Food and Drug Administration has concluded BPA is safe, while the Consumer Product Safety Commission said a BPA ban would be bad because it “could result in less effective protection of children from head, eye, or bodily injury.”

The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta took a look at the BPA controversy and reported that “infants are capable of safely metabolizing BPA,” which contradicts earlier assertions that babies cannot process the chemical in the same way as adults.

Yet, the fear-mongers are now in US, promoting the idea that BPA is dangerous. In fact, kicking off this campaign of fear was the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper. Their award-winning 2008 series “Chemical Fallout,” interviewed researchers, including Frederick vom Saal  at the University of Missouri-Columbia and Shanna Swan of the University of Rochester. It has been reported that some of the researrchers have “financial and research ties” to anti-BPA research and this appears to have tainted the doomy findings reported by the Journal Sentinel.

Saal, not the most level-headed of scientists, was quoted saying: “The science is clear and the findings are not just scary, they are horrific,” vom Saal said. “When you feed a baby out of a clear, hard plastic bottle, it’s like giving the baby a birth control pill.”

Red Dirt Report has been informed by Washington-based researchers who dismiss the BPA fear-mongering that environmental activists are heavily involved in the rampant anti-BPA campaign sweeping the planet.

In fact, a cursory Google search for Oklahoma-related stories on BPA reveals a June 25, 2009 Tulsa World report headlined “Dressed to chill,” addressing summer-ready gear like sunshades and water bottles. Twice in the article, the World reporter talks about using a “BPA-free plastic bottle” or a canteen that is “100 percent BPA- and toxin-free.” Basically the reporter is telling the public that BPA bottles are bad even though federal findings have shown otherwise. Guilty until proven innocent, according to the Tulsa World.

Already, the liberal states of Connecticut and Minnesota have banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups, although a July 15 Associated Press article out of Oakland, Calif. Reported that the Golden State “will not place Bisphenol A” on a state list of chemicals believed to cause reproductive harm.

It was a unanimous vote of seven California physicians who announced that “there’s not enough scientific evidence of BPA’s potential dangers.”

An AP report citing a recent Journal of the American Medical Association study notes how JAMA suggested that adults exposed to higher amounts of the chemical were more likely to report having heart disease and diabetes. However, the AP notes, “the study doesn’t provide proof” of these findings.

And just like in the wake of the ’89 Alar scare, where Uniroyal Chemical Company agreed to voluntarily halt domestic sales of Alar for food uses, Sunoco, a gas and chemical maker is refusing to sell BPA to companies for use in food and water containers for children younger than three. Sunoco now wants its customers to guarantee BPA won’t be used in children’s food products. Bowing to pressure from the Mother-huggers at the National Resources Defense Council and Friends of the Earth, no doubt. 

And Congress is looking to get involved in the BPA controversy. With a number of liberal congressmen leaning in the anti-BPA direction, it could result in a partisan ban of a crucial element in plastic that has helped keep, according to one report, botulism and other true toxins and dangers at bay.

Ironically, the greens are pushing the CFL light bulbs that contain toxic amounts of mercury, stuff so bad that you have to seal off the affected room and throw everything away. But it’s green and good for Gaia, as they’d say. But something that has a use in all sorts of consumer products and is proven safe is demonized in the media. Well, I guess we can count on Congress to have the final say – yeah, right!

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