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How Moms and Minorities are Deceived About Dangers of Plastic

BPA, baby bottle, mom, minorityIn June, food and chemical lobbyists met in Washington, DC to save the toxic plastic chemical BPA. Their internal meeting memos revealed a dangerous and unethical strategy to keep your family eating and drinking from BPA-laden containers, despite the mounting scientific evidence that exposure to even extremely low levels of BPA can impact health, particularly during early infancy.

Notes from the meeting included a statement that, “Attendees believe a balance of legislative and grassroots outreach (to young mothers ages 21-35 and students) is imperative to the stability of their industry.” The notetaker added that, “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 went on to suggest that fear tactics regarding access to baby food would be a good ploy to use.

The lobbyists also decided that “focusing on the impact of BPA bans on minorities (Hispanic and African American) and poor is also important.”

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not recommend discontinuing the use of products that contain BPA, The National Toxicology Program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report in September 2008 concluding that there was cause for "some concern for effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and children at current human exposures."
Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Food and chemical lobbyists know word has gotten out about bisphenol-A (BPA), an estrogen-mimicking chemical used to make hard plastics and epoxy resins that’s found in numerous products you probably use every day.

Of 115 published animal studies, 81 percent found significant effects from even low-level exposure to BPA, so there’s probably no real safe limit. Among the many health problems linked to this toxic chemical are:

  • Structural damage to your brain

  • Hyperactivity, increased aggressiveness, and impaired learning

  • Increased fat formation and risk of obesity

  • Altered immune function

  • Early puberty, stimulation of mammary gland development, disrupted reproductive cycles, and ovarian dysfunction

  • Changes in gender-specific behavior, and abnormal sexual behavior

  • Stimulation of prostate cancer cells

  • Increased prostate size, and decreased sperm production

  • Diabetes

  • Heart disease

  • Liver damage

In response to these overwhelming dangers -- and the fact that BPA is widely used in canned goods, soda cans, plastic water bottles, milk jugs, baby bottles, pacifiers and more -- many people are looking to avoid BPA, and companies are coming out with BPA-free product lines.

Well, the manufacturers of BPA, which is, by the way, one of the world’s highest production-volume chemicals, will not let it go down without a fight, which is why they called their June meeting.

BPA Makers Resort to Trying to Scare You into Buying Their Toxic Chemical

The meeting, which was attended by companies such as Coca-Cola, Del Monte, Crown, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, aimed to develop potential communication strategies to put BPA in a better light.

Well, it’s not easy to paint a rosy glow around a chemical that’s known to be toxic, so they have resorted to using tactics of deception, including:

  • Fear tactics, such as suggesting that moms will no longer have access to baby food, and minorities and the poor will be worse off without BPA

  • Misinformation, such as implying you’re better off buying a less expensive canned good (with BPA in the lining) than a more expensive frozen or fresh food

  • Implying that BPA is not so bad and “it does not matter what the next material is, there will be issues with it”

Clearly they are grasping at straws here.

It’s very possible for BPA to be taken out of consumer products. Numerous companies have already removed it from their baby bottles and some have also gone a step further and taken it out of the lining of their baby-food can lacquers.

What BPA manufacturers are facing is not a lack of alternatives … it’s a lack of responsibility to acknowledge the chemical is toxic and should no longer be on the market at all.

Time to Ditch the Plastic and Other Tips for Reducing Your BPA Exposure

Scientists have found that 95 percent of people tested have dangerous levels of BPA in their bodies.

Some of the biggest victims of all are your children, who may be exposed to the chemical while in utero, and are literally “fed” the chemical via plastic baby bottles and toys (which they often put in their mouths).

In the event that you do opt to use plastic containers for your food, be sure to avoid those marked on the bottom with the recycling label No. 7, as these varieties may contain BPA.

Containers marked with the recycling labels No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 do not contain BPA (however they may contain other unsavory chemicals that you’re best off avoiding by using glass instead).

To be fair, you probably can’t completely eliminate your exposure to BPA since it’s likely in the air, water, and food supply too, but you can certainly reduce it by eliminating the most obvious culprits.

The following tips will not only reduce your exposure to BPA, but also to many of the other dangerous plastics chemicals as well.

  1. Only use glass baby bottles and dishes for your baby and yourself.

  2. Give your baby natural fabric toys instead of plastic ones

  3. Store your food and beverages in glass -- NOT plastic -- containers

  4. IF you choose to use a microwave, don’t microwave food in a plastic container

  5. Stop buying and consuming canned foods and drinks (including soda)

  6. Avoid using plastic wrap (and never microwave anything covered in it)

  7. Get rid of your plastic dishes and cups, and replace them with glass varieties

  8. If you opt to use plastic kitchenware, at least get rid of the older, scratched-up varieties, avoid putting them in the dishwasher, and don’t wash them with harsh detergents, as these things can cause more chemicals to leach into your food

  9. Avoid using bottled water; filter your own using a high-quality copper-zinc + carbon + fluoride removal filter system instead

  10. Before allowing a dental sealant to be applied to you, or your children’s, teeth, ask your dentist to verify that it does not contain BPA

Now You Can Fight Back Against the Deception!

If you would like to let BPA’s industry lobbyists know how you feel about their blatantly deceptive attempts to mislead mothers and minorities about BPA dangers, now you can.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has posted Del Monte’s toll-free number along with a sample script to get you started. Please do not hesitate to give Del Monte a piece of your mind, and urge your friends and family to do so also!

Call Del Monte: 1-800-543-3090

EWG’s Sample script:

"Hello, My name is ______________. I'm shocked and disappointed in your unethical approach to business when it comes to BPA -- placing profits ahead of my family's health and resorting to fear tactics to mislead consumers about a clearly dangerous chemical. The BPA needs to go -- NOW. Thank you."