News & Media

News & Media

Apr 30, 2008

Much ado about nothing

Elizabeth M. Whelan, president of the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH.org), moonlit a column in the New York Post that cuts through the hysteria and presents the facts regarding plastic packaging use in our everyday products. After noting that the questioning the safety of plastic packaging lacks hard research and merit, Whelan further explains:

Psychiatrists tell us that chemicals like BPA and phthalates – unfamiliar to us, and invisible – are the perfect focus for fear. Add claims that they may harm children, and you create the perfect storm of fear and outrage. Decision-making grows irrational, with consumers willing to purge the suspect substance without even considering the safety profile of the alternative chemicals (which may well be less tested).  

Scientists largely remain mute while the risks are being hyped and science distorted. Reporters typically don’t call experts who won’t give the desired scare quote – while officials at the FDA and CSPC have to worry about backlash from their political masters. (Neither agency, though on record that BPA and phthalates are safe, has issued updated statements to calm fears.)

Corporations end up caving, abandoning perfectly safe products, because it’s just not worth the money to fight the hysteria. The withdrawals and product-reformulations are extremely costly, leading to higher prices but not an iota of improved safety. Each time it happens, another useful product of technology vanishes.  

It all recalls a cartoon I saw years ago: A naked man gazes at his empty closet, exclaiming, “Oh, my – they banned everything.”

The question is: when does it all stop?

The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters. Founded in 1958, IBWA's membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, and state governments to set stringent standards for safe, high quality bottled water products. Additionally, IBWA requires member bottlers to adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Model Code is an annual plant inspection by an independent, third party organization.

For more information about IBWA, bottled water and a list of member‚ brands, please contact
Chris Hogan, IBWA‚ Vice President of Communications at 703-647-4609 or [email protected].

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