The BPA Myth

Iain Murray, National Review Online, “The BPA Myth“:

On Thursday, April 1, Time published a list of the “ten most common household toxins,” focused on plastics. It claimed, “Chemicals in plastics and other products seem harmless, but mounting evidence links them to health problems — and Washington lacks the power to protect us.” Top of the list was Bisphenol A, or BPA for short.

BPA is an important ingredient in many of the plastic products that have made modern life inexpensive and convenient. BPA is used to make shatterproof water bottles, CDs, food and beverage cans, sporting equipment, eyeglass lenses, and countless medical supplies. Environmentalists argue that it is a toxic substance that should be banned. But there is little scientific evidence that suggests BPA is harmful, and much that suggests it is not.

Murray’s column focuses on the excesses of the Natural Resources Defense Council, which is pursuing different regulatory strategies in California to outlaw the additive that poses no health threat.

The state — which is mired in budget crisis — is wasting public funds to indulge the whims of a single special-interest group. Yet it is not just taxpayer money that is at stake. NRDC is sending a message to businesses nationwide: If you use BPA — whether to make toys, eyeglasses, or medical equipment — don’t invest here. For no company will invest in a state — and thus create jobs and expand facilities in that state — if the state is threatening to stop manufacturing in the near future. NRDC’s whim is helping to prolong California’s recession.

The campaign against BPA is another prime example of the workings of the combine of trial lawyers/activists/media, whose interests — ideological and pecuniary — are served by hype and hysteria. On that topic, these are good pieces:

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