TMCNet:  Journalistic Imbalance: USA Today Continues To Report Selectively on BPA's Safety

[October 10, 2013]

Journalistic Imbalance: USA Today Continues To Report Selectively on BPA's Safety

WASHINGTON --(Business Wire)--

If the American public is looking for balanced reporting on science issues, they should consider skipping USA Today, which has consistently chosen to represent selectively the science on potential health risks from bisphenol A (BPA).

The latest distorted article, "Researchers Raise Concerns About BPA and Breast Cancer" (October 8, 2013) focused on research from Tufts University that purportedly showed mammary gland carcinogenic effects in rats. What USA Today conveniently did not report was that serious questions regarding the researchers' conclusions were raised by Forbes contributor Trevor Butterworth. These questions were so significant, in fact, that the scientific journal publishing the study forced the researchers to revise their claims of links between BPA and cancer. An explanation of this reversal was detailed by Butterworth on September 26th, almost two weeks before the USA Today article appeared.

"Journals hat report on science, especially on issues that have a direct impact on consumer behavior, should be held to the highest professional standard," said Dr. John Rost, Chair of the North American Metal Packaging Alliance. "Unfortunately, USA Today's reporting on BPA is just as notable for what it leaves out as for what is actually reported. What readers are left with is little more than statistical spin cloaked behind the assumed integrity of the paper's masthead."


It is irresponsible for a widely cited national newspaper to confuse the public rather than to educate. It is telling that USA Today's reporting ignores the results of decades of research conducted by scientists at regulatory bodies throughout the world demonstrating the human body's ability to metabolize and eliminate effectively BPA from the body. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has researched BPA exhaustively and makes clear on their public-facing website that BPA is safe in the levels of human exposure we come into contact with on a daily basis from canned food and drinks.

Furthermore, the article essentially skips the vital role that BPA epoxy resin lining in metal food packaging has in protecting public health. According to FDA records, there has not been a food-borne illness from the failure of a metal can in over 35 years. With the current news of yet-another salmonella outbreak impacting the American public, why would USA Today not include this type of relevant information?

"Perhaps it is time for USA Today to recognize its readers want the full story and provide articles that appropriately consider all the research on BPA, not just that which supports the advocacy agenda of one organization," Rost added.

About NAMPA

The North American Metal Packaging Alliance, Inc., and its members support sound science and trust the scientific review process that has protected our food supply for decades. For further information, visit www.metal-pack.org.


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