Plastic food containers may put babies at risk

May 06, 2011

I read with disappointment Angela Logomasini's misinformed commentary regarding a possible ban on baby food packaging containing the chemical Bisphenol-A ("BPA ban exposes children to risks," May 3).

The article seems intent on creating a sense of panic and confusion among consumers instead of informing them honestly about the dangers of this substance.

While much of the research is conflicted regarding the amounts of BPA that are safe and to what extent they may cause harm, we know that chemicals from plastic containers that leech into our foods can be toxic and possibly carcinogenic.

To say that researchers around the world have found certain levels to be safe implies they all used the same research methodologies and population samples and found exactly the same thing. This is simply not true — hence the conflicted findings.

Many other health organizations have found that chemicals like BPA should be avoided at all costs. This contributes to the confusion.

Since we have yet to ascertain the true causes of many ailments, such as autism and ADHD, it is reasonable to suspect they may be rooted in the food we eat or its preservatives and packaging. But asking if lawmakers are willing to risk children becoming ill is an obvious scare tactic by lobbyists to prevent sensible legislation from being enacted.

No one is saying we shouldn't have protections to ensure our food is safe. However, it would be wrongheaded to ignore what much of the research is beginning to tell us — that some of this stuff is really bad for us. The numbers do not tell the whole story, but they do not lie either.

A.J. Baca, Columbia

The writer is professor of health sciences at Montgomery College in Takoma Park.

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