Dispatch: Fighting Back on BPA

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ACSH’s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan this morning joined a Hartford, Conn. talk radio program to discuss the claims that the chemical BPA in can linings and plastic products is hazardous to health.

She recounts, “When they asked why there is such a growing panic about BPA’s safety, I responded that anti-chemical activists are manipulating consumers’ unfamiliarity with chemicals by making false claims, including claims that BPA causes cancer and ‘hormonal changes.’ I also pointed out that anti-BPA activists have the media stage to themselves as, with very few exceptions, scientists have chosen to remain mute on the subject and have allowed misinformation and hype to prevail.”

But the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) didn’t remain mute after Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s press conference yesterday in which she tried to foment panic about the National Workgroup for Safe Markets’ report on the use of BPA in canned-food lining.

In a prepared statement released yesterday, GMA’s senior vice president and chief science and regulatory affairs officer Robert E. Brackett said, “Regulatory agencies around the world have based their safety affirmation of BPA on a wealth of data. In fact, there is no new science in the National Workgroup for Safe Markets’ report — all of the credible information in the report is well known to regulatory agencies and has been considered in their review and affirmation of the safety of BPA.”

“This is one of the rare examples of the food industry standing up for science,” says Dr. Whelan. “In general, the industry doesn’t care when junk science becomes mainstream. If customers want food without BPA, they’ll make it no matter how much it costs. When that happens, who gets hurt? The consumer. They pay more for a product that isn’t any safer. So it’s good to see GMA take a stand on this.”