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Double Whammy: MSNBC's 'Green Week' Coverage Attacks Bottled Water and BPA

When the green peacock makes its annual appearance on the NBC family of networks, chances are there will be some sort of attack on business or the way people live their every day lives.


This time, MSNBC host Contessa Brewer and NBC chief environmental affairs correspondent Anne Thompson decided to assault the bottled water industry on MSNBC’s coverage of “Green is Universal” week on Nov. 16.

“So how about getting rid of some of those water bottles, you know the plastic kind you throw away after you drink the water?” Brewer proposed. “Almost $16 billion worth are tossed into landfills every year.”


Thompson had plenty of suggestions. Instead of purchasing a bottle of water for convenience’s sake at a store, she proposed viewers tote around a reusable bottle for drinking water, as long as it didn’t contain BPA.


“We buy them for convenience and we buy bottled water for taste, but I'm here with two environmentally friendly alternatives for Green Week, Contessa,” Thompson said. “One is glass water bottle. The other is a stainless steel water bottle. The stainless steel one, you want to be careful to make sure there's no BPA. That’s a chemical that can hurt human development and human reproduction.”


BPA, or Bisphenol A, has been a favorite target of the environmental lefteven though an independent study funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, and often ignored by the media, shows the substance, in the very small doses imparted by plastic and other applications, does little to harm an individual. As George Mason University’s Stats.org explained:


Now, a second independent study by the Environmental Protection Agency, published in the leading toxicological journal, Toxicological Sciences, has failed to find evidence of the low-dose hypothesis claimed by environmental activists and widely reported in the media.


In the study, “In Utero and Lactational Exposure to Bisphenol A, in contrast to Ethinyl Estradiol, Does not Alter Sexually Dimorphic Behavior, Puberty, Fertility and Anatomy of Female LE Rats” (Ryan et al) researchers fed one group of pregnant rats a range of doses of BPA and another group a range of doses of the synthetic estrogen used in birth control pills ethinyl estradiol.


And Brewer and Thompson trotted the usual environmentalist talking points about primary target, bottled water.


“So, here are your two environmentally friendly alternatives – why should you do this?” Thompson said. “Consider a couple of facts. One is it takes three liters of water to produce one plastic water bottle that you put a liter of water in. That plastic water bottle is made out of petroleum, that's a fossil fuel. Then think about it, that water has to travel from the Pacific islands or from France or from some far away place that puts carbon dioxide in the air. And, if you don't care about the planet, you probably do care about your wallet. So there is an estimate that bottled water costs 1,000 times more than tap water so it just makes sense.”


Former International Bottled Water Association Vice President Stephen R. Kay said “consumers are choosing bottled water as a refreshing, hydrating beverage and as an alternative to others that may contain calories, caffeine, sugar, artificial colors, alcohol or other ingredients, which they wish to moderate or avoid.”


And, according to the IBWA’s Web site, bottled water containers “are among the most recycled packaged products in the U.S., and the bottled water industry is working to reduce its environmental footprint by using lighter-weight plastics for containers and increasing the fuel efficiency in the transportation of the product to market.” And the industry continues to make gains in pushing water bottle containers to be recycled.


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