Wednesday, September 24, 2008

BPA Talk -- What Should You Do?

BPA, which stands for Bisphenol A, has been widely in the news the past two weeks. It is a chemical in varying quantities of the linings of many food and beverage cans, as well as in many polycarbonate plastics.

The FDA is denying that BPA has harmful effects, citing two studies funded by the chemical industry to back up its claims.

But in over 100 independent studies, including one just published in the Journal of the American Medical Association – BPA is linked to many serious physical problems. There’s heart disease and diabetes, prostate cancer, breast cancer, early puberty, hormone disruption, and the list goes on.

I believe BPA should be banned and that the FDA needs to listen to consumers, health professionals and scientists, and environmental groups more than industry. What are the chances of it being banned soon? Not great. It’s unfortunate.

Maybe a better approach is that instead of banning it we change strategy and lobby for any product with BPA in the packaging be labeled as such and let consumers choose. That is what was done recently with trans fat.

In any case, this is a personal, family, public, and environmental issue that we all must take responsibility for. The way to do that is to
  1. Write to your state and federal officials and ask for BPA to be banned or put on the label.
  2. You can also write companies you buy product from and ask the same thing.
  3. You can further write the stores you shop at asking them to require their suppliers to ban BPA or label it.
  4. Buy BPA-free products whenever possible. Some forward-thinking brands and their products will say BPA-free on the label.
The reality is that going green takes your voice.

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