Connecticut AG Going After Manufacturers for BPA

Earlier this month we wrote about disturbing plans being devised by some manufacturers in whose best interest it is to continue to use and promote the dangerous estrogen-mimicking toxin <"">bisphenol A (BPA). The manufacturers have been trying to figure out how to stem government bans and allow BPA in the items they produce. Now, according to an Associated Press (AP) report, Connecticut’s attorney general (AG) spoke out against the planned promotions.

AG Richard Blumenthal expressed his concerns about last month’s industry meeting, comprised of companies that make up the North American Metal Packaging Alliance, asking for industry’s plans to promote the hormone interrupting chemical that is used, for example, in the linings of cans and lids as well as in plastic baby bottles and sippy cups. Companies such as Coca-Cola are among those trying to figure out ways to block possible bans, reported the Washington Post previously.

BPA is banned in Connecticut, Minnesota, Chicago, and New York’s Suffolk County. Wisconsin just became the third state to introduce a bill to ban BPA-containing baby bottle and sippy cup sales for children and, earlier this month, California voted on a similar bill that is in the Assembly. Key members in the U.S. House and Senate introduced legislation for a federal ban on BPA in all food and beverage containers, and 24 states have bills in the works to restrict the toxin; Canada was the first country to announce plans to ban BPA, calling it a toxin, and newly appointed U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, said the agency is reconsidering its decision that BPA is safe at current levels, especially those found in baby bottles, a decision for which the agency has faced fierce criticism.

The Washington Post was able to procure the internal notes of the private industry meeting that involved “frustrated industry executives huddled for hours” working to minimize consumer anxiety over BPA. The Post also previously reported that the group was concerned with young mothers since that demographic is both generally in charge of household purchasing and most concerned with health issues.

Citing an unidentified participant, the notes stated, said the Washington Post, that those in attendance, “believe a balance of legislative and grassroots outreach [to mothers 21 to 35 years old and students] is imperative to the stability of their industry.” The team looked at ideas that involved “fear tactics and finances,” said The Post, which added that the public spokesperson would be, a “pregnant young mother … willing to speak around the country about the benefits of BPA.” The AP described the use of the young mother-to-be industry’s “holy grail,” citing the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Washington Post.

According to the AP, Blumenthal said, “Using a pregnant mother is their best and highest tactic, which seems the lowest way to spread misinformation, confusion, and concealment.” Blumenthal sent letters to companies nationwide, saying that he was, “putting (them) on notice that we will not accept this kind of coercive campaign,” quoted the AP.

Despite industry’s assertions to the contrary, BPA has been linked to a wide variety of adverse effects, namely:

Increased risks of brain, reproductive, cardiac, and immune system diseases and disorders
Problems with liver function testing
Interruptions in chemotherapy treatment
Links with serious health problems based on over 200 studies which found it to have negative effects at doses lower than the FDA’s current standards
Retention in the body longer than previously believed

Leeching into liquids being held in containers regardless of whether the containers are or are not heated
Longer lasting damage, which can be passed to future generations.

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