EVERTON BAILEY Jr. Associated Press Writer - June 16, 2009
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's attorney general on Monday blasted industry plans to promote a chemical common in the making of baby bottles and other food containers. The chemical is banned in Connecticut and Minnesota.
Richard Blumenthal said he's troubled by a May 28 meeting in Washington of companies that form the North American Metal Packaging Alliance. The group discussed a possible $500,000 campaign to ease public fears of bisphenol A, also known as BPA.
The group also discussed finding a pregnant young mother to be a "holy grail" spokeswoman that would travel the country talking about the benefits of BPA, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and the Washington Post reported.
"Using a pregnant mother is their best and highest tactic, which seems the lowest way to spread misinformation, confusion and concealment," Blumenthal said Monday.
The metal packaging group said in a statement Monday that its members are looking into methods to "more effectively communicate full scientific facts."
"We emphatically support the many global scientific reviews that have consistently concluded that BPA is safe for food contact applications," the group said. "We are fully cooperating with the State of Connecticut's and Congress' inquiries."
BPA is commonly used to harden plastic and make it shatterproof. It also is used to line the insides of certain food containers. Some scientists and environmental advocates argue that BPA can mimic hormones and cause reproductive problems in children, but the chemicals industry says consumer products containing BPA pose no health threat.
Connecticut and Minnesota have passed laws that ban BPA from certain food and drink containers. Chicago and Suffolk County, N.Y. also have passed bans.
Blumenthal said he sent letters to several companies across the country, "putting (them) on notice that we will not accept this kind of coercive campaign." He said he hopes companies will eliminate use of BPA in their products by 2011, and he plans to appeal to other states to help put pressure on them.
Officials say companies such as Gerber and Playtex already have volunteered to stop using the chemical in their products.