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Media Generated False Fears Over BPA, STATS Study Finds
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WASHINGTON--(Business Wire)-- Media reports of alleged health risks associated with the chemical BPA were seriously misleading and caused unnecessary public anxiety, according to an independent study released today by the Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) at George Mason University. The study accuses the media of ignoring the extensive research of respected scientists and major health agencies in the United States and around the world, which found BPA was not only safe but played an important role in ensuring food safety. Instead, over the past two years, the media has promoted a series often flawed, unreplicated and irrelevant studies by a small group of activists claiming that BPA is harmful. Unsupported claims that plastic containers made with BPA endanger the lives of "millions of babies" have been eagerly reported, while little attempt has been made by the media to discover the facts or balance their stories with the views of the majority of scientists and government agencies, according to the study by the nonprofit group. It concludes that the media gave insufficient attention to the European Union`s Food Safety Authority`s finding that BPA is safe, as well as similar findings by regulatory bodies and expert panels in Australia, Japan, France, Germany, Switzerland and Denmark. The study singles out the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal for its "anti-BPA crusade," a series of "investigative" articles last year that were based almost entirely on the views of activists, but were nevertheless mirrored by many other publications. It notes the comment of a senior scientist at the National Toxicology Program, who said the articles not only ignored important research, but ignored the "very concept of the weight of evidence." ABOUT STATS STATS is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization affiliated with George Mason University. Our mission is to improve the quality of scientific and statistical information in public discourse and to act as a resource for journalists and policymakers on scientific issues and controversies. STATS Donald Rieck 202-223-2942 email@example.com Copyright Business Wire 2009