It looks like the US faces the same problem as us – their media appear intent on promoting scary headlines and shy away from good news stories that could allay consumer fears. In his blog, Trevor Butterworth says that ‘despite answering the key question in one of the biggest scientific controversies of the past decade’ and having ‘fundamentally important implications for public health’, a recent study on BPA has had very little coverage from the media.
The study, described as ‘beautifully designed and executed’, has shown that ‘for the adult human population exposed to even very high dietary levels, blood concentrations of the bioactive form of BPA throughout the day are below our ability to detect them, and orders of magnitude lower than those causing effects in rodents exposed to BPA’. This corroborates other independent studies and adds to the evidence that BPA is rapidly absorbed, detoxified, and eliminated from humans – therefore is not a health concern.
This is a robust and detailed study and should be a positive story used to reassure consumers – it’s a shame it’s not getting the coverage it deserves. But more than simply being a shame, it is important to recognise that this reporting bias towards scary stories has a real impact: it diverts attention and resources away from the issues that are really making people sick, such as campylobacter and E.coli.
I’d be interested in your views in how we deal with this.