I've seen an awful lot of headlines today about some comments that FDA made yesterday about the safety of bisphenol A. In journalism, there's a name for a story about something that isn't really new. We call it a non-story. This BPA story is a non-story. The big headlines shout that Dr. Norris Alderson, FDA's associate commissioner for science, testified before a U.S. House subcommittee that BPA is safe. "Although our review is ongoing, there's no reason to recommend consumers stop using products with BPA," Alderson said. Sound interesting? Not really. This is exactly what FDA has been saying for months, including just after the wave of publicity that saw stores remove polycarbonate baby bottles and water jugs from their shelves. Since the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee is considering a bill that would outlaw polycarbonate baby bottles, we'll all get a chance to hear opponents and proponents re-state how they feel about BPA safety. So expect more headlines in the coming days as experts testify, and representatives question them and make their own mini-speeches. Is it newsworthy? Not really. It's certainly not an important new revelation. A colleague said this is an example of daily newspapers and wire services being dumb and lazy, looking for easy stories. Sometimes, I'm sure, they feel the need to write about everything that moves in Washington -- even when the motion is just hot air.
BPA non-story in the news
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