BPA & the poisoning of America

Source of Article:  http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/talk/blogs/observer2/2009/05/bpa-the-poisoning-of-america.php?ref=reccafe

May 31, 2009, 8:50PM


A recent Washington Post story described how chemical industry and can manufacturers and their customers (including Coca Cola) were trying to find a way to, let me be blunt, scare the public and bribe politicians, so that they can continue to reap profits while slowly poisoning the nation and its children. Ideas included getting a pregnant woman to claim she was happy to have Bishpenol A (BPA) effect her unborn child's development in unknown ways, just as long as Coca Cola has a great bottom line.

Despite a growing body of evidence that it is dangerous, the Bush FDA ruled it was not clear, based solely on two industry funded studies, which dispute the majority of science on BPA:

Over the past decade, a growing body of scientific studies has linked the chemical to breast cancer, testicular cancer, diabetes, hyperactivity, obesity, low sperm count, miscarriage and other reproductive problems in laboratory animals. More recent studies using human data have linked BPA to heart disease and diabetes. And it has been found to interfere with the effects of chemotherapy in breast cancer patients.

Researchers have found that BPA leaches from containers into food and beverages, even at cold temperatures. A study by the Harvard School of Public Health published earlier this month found that subjects who drank liquids from plastic bottles containing BPA had a 69 percent increase in the BPA in their urine.

Despite more than 100 published studies by government scientists and university laboratories that have raised health concerns about the chemical, the Food and Drug Administration has deemed it safe largely because of two studies, both funded by a chemical industry trade group.

Let's hear it for mommy bloggers, who have been sounding the alarm bells on this and other toxic chemicals that are being pushed on unsuspecting consumers, especially in egregious, and frankly sickening fashion, such as using potentially harmful chemicals in baby bottles and baby food containers. Also, organic food stores that have been offering BPA-free bottles to consumers deserve credit as well. They've clearly countered the scaremongering about a BPA-free world: If we can easily buy BPA-free bottles at Whole Foods, why is Gerber so afraid??

Now is the time for Obama to reverse the Bush pro-poisoning position and to get rid of the industry-friendly hacks in the FDA. We need to adopt a more prudent and 'precautionary' approach, along the lines of Japan and Europe, that if the science is "unclear", or if overwhelming evidence is being disputed by industry-funded crap pseudo-science, then we should remove it and not wait decades to find out that the substance has been toxic all along, such as was done with lead in gas, asbestos, PCBs, and more recently phthalates and BPA.

For those interested, here are some tips from another WP article last year to avoid exposure. Well, actually, to minimize exposure, since this BPA crap is everywhere:

* Look for BPA-free toys, baby bottles and containers. There's been a recent explosion of such products, which may often carry a higher price tag.

* Reduce your use of canned food; eat fresh or frozen foods instead. Bisphenol A has been found in the lining of canned food tins.

* If you use hard polycarbonate plastics (Nalgene bottles, baby bottles, sippy cups), do not heat them or use them for warm or hot liquids. Heating plastics to high temperatures may promote the leaching of chemicals out of containers and into the food or liquid they hold. Freezing plastics poses no such risk.

* Instead of polycarbonate and PVC plastics, consider using alternatives such as polyethylene plastic -- also labeled as PETE or recycling code #1, #2 (HDPE) and #4 (LDPE). Polypropylene (recycling code #5, or PP) is also considered a safe choice. Recycling code #7 may mean the product contains BPA.

* Do not wash polycarbonate plastic containers in the dishwasher with harsh detergents.

Suggested reading on the chemical industry's pseudoscience campaign:
The Real Story Behind Bisphenol A
How a handful of consultants used Big Tobacco's tactics to sow doubt about science and hold off regulation of BPA, a chemical in hundreds of products that could be harming an entire generation.


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