A PR Campaign to Make BPA Plastic Fantastic

On May 28, industry executives met "to devise a public relations and lobbying strategy to block government bans" of bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in cans and plastic containers. The "manufacturers of cans for beverages and foods and some of their biggest customers, including Coca-Cola" are considering spending $500,000 on PR "to defend their industry." Independent research has linked BPA to heart disease and diabetes in humans, and a wide range of diseases including cancer, obesity and reproductive problems in lab animals. Canada has banned BPA in baby bottles, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration "has deemed it safe largely because of two studies, both funded by a chemical industry trade group," part of the American Chemistry Council. At the meeting, industry executives described their "'holy grail' spokesperson" as a "pregnant young mother who would be willing to speak around the country about the benefits of BPA." Industry representatives also suggested "using fear tactics" -- like asking "do you want to have access to baby food anymore?" -- and framing the opposition to BPA bans as "giving control back to consumers." Their main concern is "young mothers, who often make purchasing decisions for households and who are most likely to be focused on health concerns."