Wednesday, June 03, 2009

May the BPA Wars begin....An FDA review, an Industry cabal and the sweet smell of nexus

The FDA has never been one to stick to it's goals, objectives, responsibilities or duties in the last eight years or so. In the same spirit, last year, despite growing "concern" from scientists and consumer groups, it went ahead and approved BPA as safe for use in "baby food" nonetheless. If you ever wanted to recruit for a party that need people with no scruples or self-doubt, I guess you had to look at last year's FDA staff. Now which party would look to hire folks with such characteristics, eh?

The FDA's approval cannot be taken lightly, in wake of the following facts (Washington Post linked at the bottom):

1. BPA has been shown that BPA can be linked to a variety of cancers, infertility and other fun diseases.

2. BPA was found to leach into bottles even when used in cold temperatures.

3. Apparently, Harvard found out that people who drank regularly from BPA bottles had a 69% increase in BPA in their urine...

And, the FDA says it was safe for baby food.

The Present

Of many of the federal government's gambling hobbies, the FDA is becoming prime. Ignoring the nonsensical ruling, a few local governments started pressing on their own restrictions on BPA use. The strange bedfellows included Minnesota and Chicago. Apparently, yesterday, the California senate did the same thing. We may have no money left in my state, but even we think baby food needs protection!

Finally, Congress wanted to get into the game. It's amazing how fast Congress can act given it's dinosaurial origins...Waxman and Stupak, remarkably both Democrats (you should talk to your local Republican representative about what they think of your babies' health and future voting potential), wanted to know what the "new" FDA was going to do about it.

Progress or not, the one thing the new Obama FDA wants to review everything it's predecessor version did. At best, this is all the progress we can expect over the next eight years.

So, you think the party's over? Think not....

The Battle Ground

Nope, no Fallujah or Kabul here. This battle ground is the industry. I guess it consists of the American Chemistry Council (if you buy your kids a chemistry set, buy them an ethics set too..) and a host of guess-who's...

So what is their strategy? Apparently according to notes obtained by the Washington Post and confirmed by the people who were apparently in the meeting:

1. They would like to use fear tactics: "Would you like your babies to not have access to food?" as opposed to, I guess, urinating plastics.

2. Raising prices! You gotta pay more for BPA-free food. You now have a choice between using your food stamps or staying away from cancer and infertility. Rock and Hard Place, meanwhile, were reported to have lost most of their stock value.

3. Parade "pregnant young mothers" to talk about the safety of BPA. Never in the history of mankind have we relied on the public relations skills or the scientific progress of young pregnant mothers or pregnant young mothers (whatever the differnce is) on learning us the nice things babies urinating plastic can do for you...

Are there no alternatives?

You bet! There are alternatives. Apparently Japan has managed to throw BPA out of it's bottles and I guess lead out of its paints...

What is the war being fought over?

Brace yourself. The war is being fought over: "How foolish are Americans today"

1. If the FDA simply reviews last year's recommendations, and walks off with a ban on BPA - the story doesn't end there. Why did the recommendation change? If so, does it prove the old recommendation was indeed unscientific, politically motivated and does it reek of nexus? If so, who, if anyone, is going to pay?

2. If the industry wins, well...

Articles for review:



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