Written by Alan Caruba
The lies being told about Bisphenol-A, BPA, via the print and broadcast media, and via the Internet are a destructive tsunami intended to ban its use. If successful, people will die.
In previous parts of this series on BPA, I have identified environmental organizations and public relations firms that have worked as sponsors and/or purveyors of systematic falsehoods about BPA.
The inescapable conclusion is that there is an intricate matrix of comparable groups behind a global fraud that reeks of the same pathology and methodology as the disgraced and debunked “global warming” hoax. But the results of a successful BPA hoax could have deadly consequences.
BPA has been in use for more than a half century and as such, it is among the most tested substances in use today. It is used to line the insides of metal containers and to make shatterproof safety plastics. Unlike what the junk science merchants would have us believe, BPA is not a carcinogen, it is not mutagenic and it’s not an ‘endocrine disruptor.’
Stated simply, BPA improves human health and safety.
Dr. Angela Logomasini, PhD, of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, authored the report “Anti-BPA Packaging Laws Jeopardize Public health,” and concluded, in reference to efforts at the state level to restrict BPA, that “these policies threaten to undermine food safety because BPA is used to make resins that line metal cans and other packaging to prevent the development of dangerous pathogens and other contamination.”
The safety characteristics provided by BPA in making shatterproof plastic are no less valuable. Consider this simple and common scenario: a new mother trying to care for her infant while literally juggling a telephone, a cooking utensil and a glass baby bottle. This is actually one of the reasons that bottles made of hardened, shatterproof plastic became so popular so quickly; they were safe to use and spared mothers the risk of shards of shattered glass in homes with infants and toddlers.
We take for granted that we eat all manner of food packaged in cans as well as food and drink in plastic bottles. Imagine if you could not be sure that it was safe to eat or drink? Imagine if you had to fear the contents of a metal can of soup every time it was opened? Or feared what might happen if you drank soda from a plastic bottle?
Banning the use of BPA would put the contents of billions of cans and bottles at risk of contamination, a function that BPA protects against every day and everywhere around the planet. The risk of a BPA ban is clear; there are no alternatives to BPA that have a similarly tested safety profile.
Thousands of studies have been conducted on BPA and not a single one of them has ever shown any harm to human health from BPA in normal consumer use.
This truth was illustrated in an April article by author Jon Entine who reported “A comprehensive review by the German Society of Toxicology of thousands of studies on BPA concluded, ‘(BPA) exposure represents no noteworthy risk to the health of the human population, including newborns and babies.’” During June 2011 in Europe more people died from eating organic vegetables than ever exhibited so much as a symptom of illness due to BPA over the past half century.
While activists clamor for bans on BPA, they’re largely mute when asked what the alternative might be. A report in FoodQualitynews.com noted that Dr. John Rost, chairman of the North American Metal Packaging Alliance, stated “There is a great deal of research underway at this time, but the fact remains there is no readily available alternative to BPA for all the types of metal food and beverage packaging currently in use.” The likelihood of finding a substitute is literally “years away.”
Opponents of BPA seek to intimidate and marginalize credible researchers by condemning their ‘links’ to industry – accusations that are as specious as the non-existent ‘links’ of BPA to physical ailments – yet Rost’s safety concerns were underscored in a May 12 opinion piece in the New York Times which stated what scientists have been saying all along; “Swapping out BPA-free bottles, teething rings and sippy cups for substitutes whose dangers are unknown isn’t keeping our children safe."
Banning BPA would not only constitute a health threat, it would have a catastrophic economic impact on the provision of all food and drink packaged in metal or plastic containers. The assault on BPA is an assault on the vast bulk of humanity that depends on safe, protected containers.
The anti-BPA propaganda, all of which use the vague phrases that BPA “may” pose this threat, “might” pose that threat, “could” have some affect, “has been linked”, is baseless. It plays to the fears of those also read and hear an endless range of specious claims about chemicals of every description. That fear has a name, chemophobia.
Just as the anti-PBA propaganda continues, so do the alleged “studies” that link it to “possible”, “potential” hazards. Time and again, they prove to be an insult to the scientific method.
The sensible consumer knows that mere “exposure” does not constitute a threat or hazard. Every day we are “exposed” to all manner of things we safely eat and drink simply because the exposure is so small—parts per billion—as to constitute no hazard and because the body naturally excretes substances such as BPA on a daily basis.
This pernicious assault on the use of Bisphenol-A must be stopped.