Diary

Science Hysteria and BPA

I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while — ever since I saw Gina Kolata’s write up in the New York Times.

If you have small kids like I do (yes, that’s him last week. He’s growing), you have undoubted had to deal with fearful neerdowells scared by the levels of BPA in bottles.

We had very good bottles we saved from our first child, but after being scared to death by BPA reports in the press, my wife went out and bought all new bottles — the exact same kind we had — that had “no BPA” on the outside.

Turns out credible scientists say the BPA fear is overblown, and it is not “industry” scientists making the claim, but government scientists and regulators.

Scientists, regulators, politicians in Europe, Australia, and Japan have all rejected the evidence that the chemical is harmful as methodologically flawed, badly conducted, or irrelevant — with some warning that banning it could actually endanger the public.

In fact, Canadian health officials, in a detailed survey, found that BPA was not harmful in water bottles, baby food, or baby powder.

According to some government studies, not using BPA is more harmful to people’s health than using it.

So how did the BPA fear start? Well, while John Edwards was out knocking up his mistress, the streets were clear for other trial lawyers to chase ambulances. Edwards, having cornered the market on cerebral palsy lawsuits, left open the BPA racket, which other industrious lawyers promptly pursued.

The Environmental Working Group, the Tides Foundation, the Center for Health, Environment & Justice, and other groups have worked tirelessly to drum up research for trial lawyers to use against the plastics industry over BPA. Why? The environmental groups don’t like plastic. Going after BPA was an easy way to start shutting down the industry.

Unfortunately for the trial lawyers, government scientists and environmental regulators could not replicate the findings of the environmental groups. More importantly, the non-partisan non-envirowacko groups found that not using BPA was actually harmful.

Put another way — the envirowacko groups drummed up phony research that the media and lawyers used and, as a result, claiming BPA is harmful, a lie, put your kids at risk.

The deep, rich irony would be that some family whose kid got sick because of the lack of BPA somewhere should sue the pants off these groups.