Industry Will Pay Big Bucks for Pregnant Woman Willing to Ingest BPA
Pregnant? Looking for a way to make some extra money? Comfortable eating and drinking from packaging coated with BPA resins to demonstrate how safe it is? (Note: you must also be willing to sign a waiver releasing industry from any birth defects or other harm suffered by your baby.)
Interested? Can you believe it?
BPA proponents are sinking to new levels. And, while they have wisely selected the most powerful audience of consumers, moms, they also seem to be oblivious to how connected we’ve become and how these types of shenanigans just aren’t cutting it anymore.
Memo to BPA industry lobbyists and marketers: Parents pushed major retailers to stop selling baby bottles that contained BPA. Parents are pushing legislators in cities, counties and states to ban BPA from all kids products. Parents are firmly behind the Ban Poisonous Additives Bill recently introduced in Congress. WE DON’T WANT YOUR BPA! QUIT TRYING TO SELL IT TO US!
Still, instead of investing money in finding safer alternatives, industry groups are ready to pour $500,000 into a new PR plan that sounds more like a devious plot. The cat‘s out of the bag and the Washington Post was the first to expose the secret scheming:
According to internal notes of a private meeting, obtained by The Washington Post, frustrated industry executives huddled for hours Thursday trying to figure out how to tamp down public concerns over the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA. The notes said the executives are particularly concerned about the views of young mothers, who often make purchasing decisions for households and who are most likely to be focused on health concerns.
Industry representatives weighed a range of ideas, including "using fear tactics [e.g. "Do you want to have access to baby food anymore?" as well as giving control back to consumers (e.g. you have a choice between the more expensive product that is frozen or fresh or foods packaged in cans) as ways to dissuade people from choosing BPA-free packaging," the notes said.
The attendees estimated it would cost $500,000 to craft a message for a public relations campaign, according to the notes. "Their 'holy grail' spokesperson would be a 'pregnant young mother who would be willing to speak around the country about the benefits of BPA,' " the notes said.
As you can imagine, this isn’t going over so well with moms. The blogosphere has begun a murmur that could quickly become a roar. Jennifer Taggart (aka The Smart Mama), who brought the issue to my attention (thanks Jennifer!) writes about her anger and captures what some other mommy bloggers are feeling:
Let's raise our voices, moms! We got BPA out of most baby bottles. Let's tell the industry enough is enough. Don't try to fool us - do something proactive instead. Find a solution.
Are you ready to join us? Speaking out, my friend Sommer from Green and Clean Mom says "Talk to the Hand". She's got a plethora of Tweets about what we think about the industry's back door meeting. But I love how she points out the irony that companies love mommh bloggers when they want us to sell something and be brand evangelists, but that we are hysterical and just don't understand the science when we question product safety or environmental standards.
SafeMama says manufacturers are getting scared because we are smart. We educated ourselves about the hazards of BPA, and are seeking alternatives and demanding legislation.
And my friend Alicia from The Soft Landing (with a fabulous online store of BPA free items, among other things), asks who are the fear mongerers now? After accusing us of being fear mongerers, the industry representatives have decided to turn the tables to encourage their primary customers, women between 21 and 35, to stick with canned foods. And she cries foul.
More blogs joining the uproar:
- Non-toxic Kids says “This is so offensive, on so many levels I don't even know where to start. These companies are resorting to the lowest strategies and tactics to continue to sell their products, no matter the mounting research about the health consequences of exposure to BPA.”
- Consumer Reports writes “We have repeatedly called for BPA to be banned from food and beverage containers, and for the government to take immediate action to protect infants and children from BPA exposure. Some manufacturers and retailers have already begun removing BPA from their products. We hope that more will follow that example rather than relying on cynical public relations gimmicks.”
- Tiffany Washko at Nature Moms says “Ugh. Instead of trying to come up with safe ways to serve food they would rather spend money on pulling the wool over our eyes or using the political system give us no choice in the matter. Moms everywhere need to be prepared for a battle over BPA. We need to continue to let our legislators know that human safety comes BEFORE profit."
Of course, industry is trying to deny the whole thing. Who are you going to believe? Do you think the battle over BPA will ever end?