Ethics in Medicine

Media failed to protect babies against BPA

Kristen Sparrow • February 26, 2009

In a follow up post to the one above, FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) has an article by Candice O’Grady showing that there had been evidence of the danger of Bisphenol-A (BPA) as early as 1999. BPA is found in plastics and baby bottles. BPA was already being linked to serious developmental illnesses as early as 1996. It is in many common items- hard clear plastics, sippy cups, dental sealants. There was virtually no coverage of the hazards because the media accepted the FDA’s official line that the levels were benign. This was an opinion based on (you guessed it) industry-funded science.
In 2008 an overwhelming amount of independent research, non profit activism and international concern finally pushed BPA into the spotlight. A scathing report by the FDA’s own science board (CNN.com10/31/08) said the agency had created a false sense of security… and overlooked a wide range of potentially serious findings.
In 2008 over 500 stories about BPA finally came to light since the impetus came from the FDA. So the media sat on this important story instead of reporting the data as it existed. In protecting industry, it endangered the public they are supposed to be serving.
As the Fair article concludes “The mainstream press has an inglorious history of muddying science that conflicts with corporate interests: think of the coverage given to climate change deniers or big tobacco. The story of BPA is no different.”
For more information about my practice, please click here.)