"BPA Industry Fights Back"

"Bill Carteaux ... is at war against mounting momentum to ban bisphenol A, a key ingredient in hard, clear plastic products. Studies have linked BPA to breast cancer, testicular cancer, reproductive deformities and neurological defects.

Carteaux, president of the Society of the Plastics Industry, represents manufacturers of thousands of products made with BPA. Sales of that chemical now top $6 billion a year.

For decades, the chemical industry has been able to control the debate on whether BPA is harmful to human health. Now the Food and Drug Administration, which had relied on industry-financed studies to declare the chemical safe, is reconsidering its determination. The decision is expected by Nov. 30. ...

The industry has launched an unprecedented public relations blitz that uses many of the same tactics - and people - the tobacco industry used in its decades-long fight against regulation. This time, the industry's arsenal includes state-of-the-art technology. Their modern-day Trojan horses: blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia and YouTube.

A four-month investigation by the Journal Sentinel reveals a highly calibrated campaign by plastics makers to fight federal regulation of BPA, downplay its risks and discredit anyone who characterizes the chemical as a health threat."

Meg Kissinger and Susanne Rust report for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel August 22, 2009.

Monday, August 24, 2009