Posts Tagged ‘chemical industry’

Chemical Industry Decides Public Health Really IS Better Than Private Profits

Guest post by Janelle Sorensen

In a turn of events not even Nostradamus could foresee, Cal Dooley, President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), today announced that the millions of dollars the industry trade group has been using to lobby against policies that protect public health will now be used instead to research and develop safer chemicals.

“We’ve been focusing so much on maintaining the status quo and protecting our profits, that we neglected to notice how our bottom line really relies on the health of consumers,” Dooley said at a press conference outside the ACC headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. “If people have to spend the bulk of their income on health care or are working less due to chronic health conditions, they don’t have money left to buy our products. We’ve decided to make products that are safe and healthy for consumers, because it’s simply better for everyone.”

The ACC has also started their own national campaign to overhaul the outdated chemical regulatory system, the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), and has promised Congress and the Obama Administration that their member corporations will shoulder any tax burdens involved with increasing research, monitoring, and regulatory oversight. Parents, public health professionals, and environmental advocates across the country were speechless and unable to comment. This moment is simply too good to be true. No, really, it is. April Fools!

Unfortunately, the ACC is still only concerned about maintaining their deep pockets at our expense. But, they really are trying to fool the American people into believing they care about public health. In fact, according to Safer Chemicals Healthy Families:

On the eve of Congressional action, and after years of insisting that the status quo was just fine, organizations like the ACC are suddenly announcing their support for reforming our nation’s toxic chemical policy. What changed? For starters, states are beginning to ban toxic chemicals like BPA. Even worse, consumers are snubbing products that contain toxic chemicals.

Understanding that they can’t fight this trend, the chemical industry has launched a PR campaign trying to appear green and clean; luring in supporters with Web sites designed to look like ours. But if you look past the fluff, you will find that our coalition and chemical industry reps still have very different ideas about what real TSCA reform should look like.

Below are some of the fundamental differences between Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families’ vision of reform and that of the chemical industry:

What Public Health Advocates Want

  • Public disclosure of safety information for all chemicals in use
  • Prompt action to phase out or reduce the most dangerous chemicals
  • Deciding safety based on real world exposure to all sources of toxic chemicals

What the Chemical Industry Wants

  • Limited testing of a handful of chemicals, leaving us in the dark about safety hazards
  • More lengthy and costly studies of chemicals already proven to be dangerous
  • An assumption that we are only exposed to one chemical at a time, and from one source at a time

Don’t Be Duped! Learn more and tell everyone you know. 

  1. Sign the petition to Congress
  2. Sign-up for the Healthy Child Healthy World newsletters so you know exactly what’s going on and when it’s most important for your voice to be heard. 
  3. Share the video, “A Wake-Up Story,” so people can understand why TSCA reform is so important.

FDA says BPA is safe despite research saying otherwise

For a couple weeks I have seen news reports about the FDA claiming the safety of bisphenol A (BPA). That would be all well and good if they were not relying on selective reports. 

“But environmental groups were quick to criticize the agency’s conclusions, which they said relied on industry-funded studies.

“It’s ironic FDA would choose to ignore dozens of studies funded by (the National Institutes of Health) — this country’s best scientists — and instead rely on flawed studies from industry,” said Pete Myers, chief scientist for Environmental Health Sciences.

Myers said the agency disregarded recent studies of bisphenol’s effects included in the National Toxicology Program’s April draft report.

That group’s review of animal studies suggested low doses of bisphenol can cause changes in behavior and the brain, and that it may reduce survival and birth weight in fetuses.”

California is moving to ban BPA along with 11 other states (I live in a non-progressive state, so I am sure mine is not one of these 10). The March of Dimes has also reported an increase in the number of babies born with low birth weight over the past several years. Low birth weight is a side effect of BPA exposure.

Additionally, the American Chemistry Counsel has launched an ad campaign (a misleading one at that might I ad) trying to convince consumers that BPA is safe. They will apparently stop at nothing to convince us this crap is safe.

Just to fuel more suspicion of the FDA’s credibility is they announced late Friday they would form a subcommittee to do their own study on BPA. What, why now? I thought it was “safe?” What is the FDA hiding? That is just odd.

So as parents, we have to protect our children by continuing to buy products that are BPA-free.  And thankfully retails like Wal-Mart and Target, and the manufactures themselves are taking the imitative to remove BPA from their products. So that makes the search a little easier. Of course breastfeeding mama’s should avoid other places where BPA lurches, such as canned foods and polycarbonate water bottles since BPA can be passed through breast milk. And formula fed infants are more at risk since most formula cans are lined with BPA, so be sure to choose a powdered which will have lesser amounts of BPA, ready-to-feed liquid formula has the most BPA.

The president just signed a bill to ban phthalates and lead from products targeted to children under 12. BPA should also be added to this list. For now, I can only believe the independent researching which cites the harmful effects of BPA. You can’t trust the biased industry research or the FDA who relies solely on the industry research. But the independents have no reason to be anything but straight and honest. They have nothing to lose or gain, so for now, that’s the best we’ve got to go on. And the independent research shows BPA is not safe.

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