You can’t turn on the local news or look at the magazine aisle in the supermarket without being bombarded with hysterical headlines.
“Killer Celery” (Good Housekeeping).
“The Poison That Hid in Our Home” (Redbook).
“Dangers Lurking in Your Water Bottle” (KIFI, Wyoming).
“BPA Dangers in Your Pantry?” (ABC News)
In one of my favorite books, Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness—and Liberalism—to the Women of America, author and former magazine editor Myrna Blyth writes about the scare tactics used by the media. “Often, a hint of conspiracy is added (‘100 Urgent Health Risks Doctors Don’t Tell You About’) to ratchet up the fear factor and make victims—sometimes just being a woman makes you a victim—even more appealing to readers.”
Lately the “danger du jour” perpetuated by the hysterical, ratings-seeking media is the level of bisphenol A (also known as BPA) found in water bottles, canned foods and even thermal cash-register tape. Are evil corporations poisoning consumers for quick profits? As with the global warming campaign, the Left and its cohorts in the media have succeeded in ignoring the science and instead ginning up a public frenzy by simply proving that global temperature changes or traces of BPA can be found in your food.
BPA is used in many common plastics and used in an epoxy lining in canned goods to prevent botulism and salmonella contamination. The Left’s motive in promoting the bad science of “BPA contamination” is clear: It allows them access to every industry that contains BPA.
BPA alarmists draw attention to the “leaching” (Ooh, scary!) that happens when the lining in canned goods seeps into its contents. In the National Review, Julie Gunlock wrote, “To illustrate this leaching, the Breast Cancer Fund sent a selection of canned goods to a laboratory for analysis. Sure enough, the results came back showing BPA had indeed leached into the food. The amount of BPA in the tested foods ranged from a high of 148 to just 10 parts per billion (ppb).”
Gunlock points out that the European Union’s allowable amount is 600 parts per billion, and it may even increase to 3,000 parts per billion based on new studies.
Just like rising temperatures don’t prove human-caused global warming, the existence of BPA doesn’t prove that it actually has harmful effects when ingested.
The media has hyped several inherently flawed studies that blame everything from breast cancer to diabetes on BPA. In some of these studies, BPA is injected into the bloodstream of mice at amounts from 10 to 10,000 times the amount humans come in contact with at one time. Additionally, most human interactions with BPA are ingested, not injected into their bloodstream. Numerous studies have found that BPA is metabolized just like everything else and doesn’t remain in the body. (See the physiology best seller even liberals can understand, Everybody Poops.)
When the Environmental Protection Agency commissioned a study that showed that BPA at normal levels had no harmful effects, it got very little attention. The EPA study, which was also mirrored by the Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Disease Control, showed that there were no discernible traces of BPA after it had metabolized. “In a nutshell,” says the author of the study, Justin Teeguarden, “we can now say for the adult human population exposed to even very high dietary levels, blood concentrations of the bioactive form of BPA throughout the day are below our ability to detect them, and orders of magnitude lower than those causing effects in rodents exposed to BPA.”
In addition to U.S. agencies determining that BPA is safe, the World Health Organization, Food Standards Australia New Zealand, and European Food Safety Authority have also come to the same conclusion.
Despite numerous global authorities deeming BPA safe, legislatures in California and Connecticut have moved to ban the thermal cash receipts with traces of BPA based on a faulty study by Greenpeace Germany. Because when you think of science without an agenda, you think Greenpeace! Their victory in Connecticut opens the door to more states and more products on their radar.
Giving in to junk science to appease the Left’s danger du jour is not just about yielding to a nanny state, but also ignores the unintended consequences. There is currently a chemical miracle that allows people to buy convenience food at a reasonable price and prevents botulism and salmonella poisoning. It’s BPA.
Bad policy results when you combine media hysteria with political motives. We know that the Left and environmentalists will intentionally mislead the public with junk science. The hysterical media will repeat their talking-points to scare people into not changing the channel.