Recently a group of manufacturers and industry groups held a meeting to discuss their concerns about Bisphenol-A. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Washington Post obtained the internal notes from this private meeting. The now infamous meeting minutes have been widely circulating on blogs, on twitter, not because there was action taken to reduce the use of Bisphenol-A in products such as soda cans, canned food, and other metal cans and lids, but due to the outrage over the manufacturers ideas on how to use scare tactics and encourage MORE consumption of BPA by those most vulnerable to it’s adverse health effects.
The group came up with campaigns for young parents like, “Do you want to have access to baby food anymore?” Because we so obviously need BPA to feed our babies. Inciting fear is one method that is often used when there is no science, no fact, behind the claims being made. I loved this quote pulled from the meeting minutes:
“The committee doubts obtaining a scientific spokesperson is attainable”
Now, I wonder why that would be true… because the science is clear. The latest research links the chemical to breast cancer, testicular cancer, diabetes, hyperactivity, heart disease, low sperm count, miscarriage and other reproductive problems. It is an endocrine disruptor. It is not good for anyone, but especially pregnant women and babies! The two studies cited by the FDA when attempting to assure the public that BPA is safe were performed by the chemical industry trade group.
The group also wants to highlight the added cost of going BPA-free. While this may be true in a lot of circumstances, would you really jeopardize your baby’s health (and your own) over a few dollars? And really, it is often just a few dollars if that. There is also often a very good reason to spend more money on fewer products (fair trade, no pesticides, locally-made, no toxic chemicals). And in some cases, you will actually be saving money (e.g. making your own baby food, instead of buying jarred). The industry has also refused to look at the alternatives being developed, instead wasting their money on this campaign.
When Fear Doesn’t Work, Find Your “Holy Grail” Spokesperson
The other big idea the group came up with: find a young, pregnant woman to travel the country consuming a chemical with known adverse health effects, particularly to her unborn baby, and speaking about the benefits of BPA. One huge problem I have with this, is that they will be purposefully harming a helpless infant that has absolutely no say in the matter. It is true that there might not be any birth defects apparent at birth, it is later down the road that the effects will be made clear.
Seriously. It makes me sad.
So how do we avoid BPA? The sad truth is that the vast majority of us (93%) already have BPA in us. Now we just need to try to minimize our exposure and that of our children.
If you have a tip for avoiding BPA please leave it in the comments. We’ll discuss more ideas tomorrow and how to effect change…
In the meantime, check out what these fellow mamas have to say:
Not a mama, but excellent article: