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?