Earlier this week, I wrote about an outrageously irresponsible report on BPA by some random organization called The Breast Cancer Fund. Clearly looking to get some press, the Fund released a headline grabbing report saying there are dangerous levels of the chemical BPA (used in plastics and in the epoxy that lines cans in canned food) in your children's favorite foods.
And the Fund's press-seeking strategy worked. This week, newspapers have been breathless as they dutifully cover this scientifically illiterate report; failing to even do the simplest of research that would explain that BPA has been rigorously tested all over the world and that in each of these legitimate studies, the conclusions have been the same: BPA is safe!
Yet, the scare mongering appears to be working…really well.
I'm the mother of three small boys–all of whom still drink out of sippy cups. I'm amazed at how nearly every single brand of sippy cup is packaged with a label that screams "BPA FREE!" Nearly everything in the baby aisle is BPA free–I've even seen plastic dinner ware with the BPA FREE label.
So why is it working? Why are moms and dads so easily frightened? Why do they take the word of reporters, talk show hosts and organizations no one's ever heard of instead of doing their own homework?
Well…maybe that's because the truth is really hard to find. As Douglas Jeffe writes on Foxandhoundsdaily.com, no one ever seems to challenge the psudo science on BPA, nor does the press ever report on the stacks and stacks of studies on BPA which show it to be a safe chemical.
The substantive risk may very well be getting rid of the BPA. Even so, the media dotes on stories like the flimsy Breast Cancer Fund report. On the flip side, virtually no media attention is given to a recent EPA-funded study that fed large quantities of food from BPA cans to adults and found BPA at below the levels of detection is subsequent blood tests for most and at very low levels for the rest. It seems that the body efficiently metabolizes BPA, so it is no harm, no foul.