A new government study on Bisphenol A (BPA) went largely unnoticed, or at least grossly underreported, perhaps because it once again tramples on the “settled science” narrative. For example, a 2008 New York Times editorial offered this advice: “Congress should push for a ban of BPA in such items as baby bottles or cups.” And writing in the Huffington Post a few years later, Sen. Dianne Feinstein explained: “I introduced the Ban Poisonous Additives (BPA) Act of 2009, which would eliminate the use of BPA from all food and beverage containers.”
Yet as noted in a recent NPR headline, “Plastic Additive BPA Not Much Of A Threat, Government Study Finds.” In summary: “A two-year government study of rats found that even high doses of the plastic additive produced only ‘minimal effects,’ and that these effects could have occurred by chance.” The National Toxicology Program, National Institutes of Health and Food and Drug Administration collaborated on the study.
The Independent Women’s Forum’s Julie Gunlock observes, “Anti-chemical and environmental activists have, for years, been saying that BPA causes a whole host of health problems and have pointed to studies that suggest the same. Yet, those studies have always found correlations, not actual causation. Finding correlations between a substance and a disease can be helpful, but these sorts of studies are limited and are never viewed by the scientific community as ‘proof’ that a substance is bad or harmful.”
Gunlock adds, “Consumers should also feel outraged that many manufacturers, instead of pushing back on the activists, capitulated to the demands and then simply switched out BPA for a chemical called BPS, which … is actually a more potent ‘endocrine disrupter’ that the human body does not metabolize as easily as BPA. Is that improvement? No, that’s a cynical gesture by product manufacturers to give the activists a win while appearing to ‘care’ for human health and mother earth.” This environmental charade takes an economic toll too. Removing BPA meant huge product changes, the costs of which are passed on to the consumer.
A very similar thing happened with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Despite the enormous flak generated against genetically modified crops, a 2016 study by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine was actually favorable toward them. But the critics remain unfazed.
Not every environmental fanatic has ill motives, but many certainly have an agenda. Their responses to BPA and GMOs are perfect examples. The most vocal people who profess to follow the science wherever it goes suddenly become extremely hesitant to embrace it when it contradicts their broader agenda. Perhaps it’s time they stop drinking the Kool-Aid.