According to a story in today’s Washington Post, food and packaging companies are having a difficult time trying to find and employ alternatives to the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA). Companies use BPA to make hard clear plastics and epoxy resins used in a wide range of applications. At issue is the use plastics for food containers (i.e., baby bottles and sippy cups) and resins to line food containers. The resins are a particularly important food safety tool because they prevent food contamination related to such things as bacteria and rust.
Yet companies are now spending millions trying to rid the world of this innocuous and valuable chemical all because of green activist hype about its risks. The Cascade Policy Institute and CEI have detailed why consumers should not fear BPA, underscoring the fact that government bans (or even market-driven panic) would be expensive and dangerous.
Yet Congress is looking at legislation sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) that would not only eliminate BPA for products used to contain baby food or formula (bottles, sippy cups and other baby food containers) as many states have done, it would actually ban BPA use in all food and beverage containers. This would surely increase risks associated with bacterial and other contamination in our food supply. One industry source noted to the Washington Post: “We don’t have a safe, effective alternative, and that’s an unhappy place to be … No one wants to talk about that.” The sad reality is, we don’t even need an alternative. BPA has proven to be a valuable, safe product for about 60 years. The only risk here involves listening to the green hysteria.