Study lauds BPA- and DEHP-free diet: But where s the harm?

If it were up to The Silent Spring Institute and the Breast Cancer Fund, both activist groups disguised as environmental and health advocacy organizations, they would have you believe that the results of their newest study, with funding from the Passport Foundation, justify the need to convert to a non-packaged, organic food (and maybe raw?) diet. Published in Environmental Health Perspectives, the small study looked at ten adults and ten kids from five San Francisco area families who regularly ate canned food, canned sodas, frozen dinners, heated food in the microwave and drank from PC water bottles. Urine samples were taken from each family member before the study began, during the period that they switched to freshly prepared food and after they switched back to their normal diet. The levels of the plastic ingredients bisphenol A (BPA) and diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) in their urine dropped by 60 and 50 percent, respectively, after three days on a fresh food-only organic diet.

"There is [sic] outstanding health concerns about these chemicals, and while the health implications continue to be sorted out, there is an opportunity for individuals to reduce their exposure by making certain decisions," says Ruthann Rudel, lead author and director of research at the Silent Spring Institute, a nonprofit research organization named after Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring, which kicked off the modern environmental movement.

But we think that, if anything, this study attests to the safety of food stored in plastic or canned containers. “The BPA levels observed even before the diet change were 1000 times lower than even the extremely precautionary federal limits,” says ACSH’s Dr. Gilbert Ross. He adds, “The activists responsible for this tiny ‘study’ actually lend support to our position, that BPA and phthalates are highly unlikely to be toxic in humans. It demonstrates that even avoiding BPA and phthalates for such brief intervals leads to their clearance from the body, proving what we’ve known for a long time: BPA is rapidly metabolized and excreted. So quickly, in fact, that it never accumulates in the first place. These chemicals have been in safe use in a multitude of consumer and medical products for over five decades — if BPA and phthalates are toxic, yet ubiquitous, how come we have zero evidence of any real health effects traced to exposure to them?”

Seven states, including New York, have already banned BPA from baby products such as bottles and formula cans based on rodent studies linking the plastic hardener to ailments ranging from breast cancer to sexual dysfunction. Adds Dr. Ross: “Every scientific body that has evaluated these chemicals, as opposed to political bodies such as the EU and the New York State legislature, has determined that they are safe for typical uses. Unfortunately, no one writes articles pointing out this fact, probably because they don’t think anyone would bother reading them.”

Further, adds ACSH’s Dr. Josh Bloom, “If you bother to point out the absence of scientific basis for these bans, then you’re automatically accused of being an industry front group.”