Last weekend the Washington Post reported on a closed-door meeting where canned beverage and food industry executives brainstormed a public relations and lobbying strategy to counteract growing awareness of the dangers of bisphenol-A (BPA).
Bisphenol A (BPA) is the chemical resin used in the linings of metal cans and lids as well as plastic bottles and food containers and hundreds of other household products. Manufacturers like it because it adds strength to plastics and shelf-life to canned foods. Aware consumers hate it because it leaches into the foods we eat and drink from these containers.
According to the Post’s crack reporting, the industry reps decided that they needed to target their mis-information campaign at young mothers who make purchasing decisions. “Their ‘holy grail’ spokesperson would be a ‘pregnant young mother who would be willing to speak around the country about the benefits of BPA,’” the notes from the meeting said.
As if we needed more confirmation that many corporations are more concerned about the state of their profits than the health and safety of their customers or the earth, here it is. Safer alternatives to BPA are already being used in Japan, but that is not a focus of the manufacturing industry here in this country, funnily enough. They claim it will cost too much. A sadly familiar refrain.
The North American Metal Packaging Alliance has budgeted one-half million dollars to spend crafting a message designed to fool the public into thinking BPA is actually good for you, instead of a toxic substance that disrupts the delicate hormonal balance in our bodies. More than 100 publications in the last decade have linked low-dose BPA toxicity to breast and prostate damage, early puberty, behavioral problems, and other effects at levels up to 25 times lower than EPA’s “safe” dose.
One reason for the industry is running scared is that the chemical industry lobbyists who convinced the FDA that the BPA was safe have been discovered, along with the exclusion from policy-making of scientific findings and scientists that disagreed with this assertion. In fact, California just banned BPA from products intended for children under three years old.
The anti-BPA wave is starting. Don’t let the chemical industry lobbyists fool you when they flood the media with their pro-BPA message delivered by their young, pregnant “holy grail.”