Image © futurestreet

According to an indignant newsletter sent out by The Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA), we all need to take a step back and quit being overly dramatic about the dangers of chemical bisphenol A (BPA). Safe Mama has the full scoop on this crazy JPMA newsletter, which was sent to her by a reader. The newsletter is filled with a full page of why BPA is not only perfectly safe, but saves lives, and it states that research regarding BPA is nothing more than a “Sure sign of unscientific hysteria.” Wow.

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Statements from the JPMA Newsletter

In their newsletter, JPMA states that they’re in favor of BPA and they consider BPA safe because:

  • The evidence doesn’t actually show that BPA is toxic.
  • The initial studies injected BPA into animals, rather than giving it by mouth, which is how humans are exposed.
  • BPA actually saves lives by stopping botulism, according to the American Council of Science and Health who states, “Since BPA became commonplace in the lining of canned goods, food-borne illness from canned foods — including botulism — has virtually disappeared.”
  • JPMA goes farther still saying that the only reason BPA is considered a threat at all is because “Scientifically illiterate legislators are quick to panic.

Any newsletter, blog post or article worth it’s salt will site sources or refer readers to more information, and JPMA does just that. For newsletter readers interested in more BPA information, JPMA refers them to an opinion piece by… wait for it… John Stossel. Seriously? FOX News John flipping Stossel? Stossel’s not a scientist and is well-known for his outspoken opinions against pretty much everything eco-minded, other than maybe bike riding. Stossel thinks global warming is a joke and puts down organic food. While he’s free to speak his mind, he hardly strikes me as a even minded spokesperson for BPA issues.

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Why JPMA Supports BPA

JPMA notes that they’re, “Dedicated to promoting the industry and the safe use of juvenile products,” meaning they’re a trade organization, not a parent organization, so it shouldn’t come as too big a surprise that JPMA, like our Senators, are promoting what’s in the best interest of the industry (continuing to use BPA), not what’s in the best interest of families (banning BPA). Still, it’s a little shocking that they’d go this far. The JPMA newsletter would have you believe that everyone is overreacting about BPA, absurdly so even.

However, Safe Mama has a long list of linked studies discussing the dangers of BPA. Beyond that, there are already over 200 research studies that back up the fact that BPA is harmful for humans. If there are so many studies about the possible dangers of BPA, then why on earth would JPMA support its ongoing use? JPMA represents, “250 companies in the United States, Canada, and Mexico who manufacture, import and/or distribute infant products such as cribs, car seats, strollers, bedding, and a wide range of accessories and decorative items.” Many of the companies JPMA represents rely on BPA to make their products, and finding alternatives takes both time and money.

For example, the Grocery Manufacturers Association supports the ongoing use of BPA because they feel it’s safe and because, “The process to find a replacement for BPA that will work in all applications will take time.” The Toy Industry has used BPA for more than 50 years, and would also need to find a replacement, again timely and costly, so they assure parents that BPA is safe.It’s documented that BPA-free can linings are more expensive than BPA linings so there’s a real cost involved too. Toy Geek reports that most of the studies about the safety of BPA are “Conducted or funded by chemical companies, who would have much to lose monetarily if phthalates and BPA were found to be toxic.

Image © Ella's Dad

How You Can Go BPA-Free

As noted above, it’s easy and cheap for companies to keep on using BPA, which is likely why they keep pushing BPA as a safe material. On that note, it’s also easy and cheap for consumers to keep right on buying products that contain BPA. This is where your advocacy comes into play. You can purchase from companies who support BPA, or take the time to go BPA-free.

  • Use glass food storage, glass baby bottles and stainless steel water bottles.
  • If you can’t find glass or stainless steel, use (lead-free) ceramic, or porcelain containers, not plastic for food.
  • Eat fewer canned foods or purchase canned goods from a company like Eden Organics who offers some canned foods in BPA-free cans. Fresh food, frozen food or dried foods are alternatives to canned goods.
  • Don’t buy plastics marked with a recycling number “7,” which indicates BPA use.
  • Buy from toy companies who use alternative or natural materials, such as wood, not plastic.

+ JPMA Newsletter Says BPA “Won’t Hurt You”

+ Safe Mama

[baby with H2O bottle ©futurestreet; wooden toy ©Ella’s Dad]