Who are these corrupt scientists? Leachates nearly unavoidable

Glad uncut

Gladware, the type of food storage I have at home. I’ve heard soft plastics are more prone to have dangerous leachates, and this stuff is as soft as you get. (Creative Commons-licensed photo from Timothy Valentine’s Flickr account)

Nick Kristof’s column Saturday dealt with Bisphenol-A, the chemical lots of people are worried about because, hey, who knows whether it’s dangerous. Some scientists have done studies saying it is; other scientists, funded by companies that use BPA, say it’s not.

Oh no, who to believe?

I think the real story here is that so many corrupt scientists are still working. Who can live with themselves after doing “research” for corporations that concludes unsafe products are safe? Don’t they take the equivalent of the Hippocratic oath when they become scientists? Is there an effort to put something like it in place? Or are these people taught to worship money?

I’d love to do a piece for a magazine where I interview these types of scientists. For example:

  • those who said cigarettes are safe
  • those who determined “smart bombs” actually hit their targets (They don’t. Watch Why We Fight.)
  • those who said the Gardasil vaccine does more good than harm
  • those who promoted DDT
  • and the list goes on and on and on…

The blog of Seventh Generation—the corporation that produces safe cleaning products and promotes corporate responsibility—frequently features things like BPA. Here’s a link to one post about all leachates, which are chemicals that leach from packaging and food-storage containers.

According to their source, an article in a chemical industry magazine (also an interesting piece), leachates are almost impossible to avoid.

But I’m gonna try to avoid them as much as I can. When I get my student loan, I’m buying glass and/or stainless steel food-storage containers. Those also have the added benefit of lasting my entire life. Screw Gladware.

I wish I could get these things via Freecycle, but the administrators for Chicago’s Freecycle group are falling way behind in approving new members. I’m about to e-mail the national administrators.

An apology: I seem to write about the New York Times a lot. I’m sorry. They just write about good topics, and don’t generally suck at writing about them. I’ve seen it, but it’s rare. I hate crappily-written stuff, so the Times is a safe bet. Also, I generally know how to spot a biased story or one with incomplete reporting, and I stay away from those I find in the Times.

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4 responses to “Who are these corrupt scientists? Leachates nearly unavoidable

  1. interesting, I never even gave it a second thought until I read this, thanks for sharing :)

  2. i suggest you read the studies about BPA. While you may have a point, they really are inconclusive, no matter who conducted them. In fact, even studies of people who work in BPA factories aren’t providing solid proof that BPA causes problems.
    Although I think it definitely merits further investigation, and is better for the environment not to use these plastics and cans, i do think media attention to studies that aren’t scientifically sound causes much ado about nothing.

  3. and actually, no one ever said cigarettes were safe, to my knowledge. There was simply no research conducted about their potential effects until Doll and Hill, 1950. I have it, if you care to see it.

  4. Kate: I’d love to see the study. I’m pretty sure I saw doctors, even post-1950, being paid to support cigarette companies in advertisements, to the effect of, “these aren’t that dangerous for you.” I suppose those aren’t studies, though.

    As far as the BPA thing, I’d love to hear what you thought about the article this all came from, URL here: http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/87/8735cover.html

    It’s in Chemical and Engineering News—a source I think could hardly be lumped in with those other “media” that regularly distort research findings to stir up public angst.

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