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Exposé Reporters Answer Your Questions

We thank reporters Cary Spivak, Susanne Rust and Meg Kissinger for taking time to answer your questions about Exposé's story on their work following the chemical Bisphenol A.

Please note that the views and opinions expressed by the reporters are not necessarily the views and opinions held by Bill Moyers or BILL MOYERS JOURNAL.

I would very much like to know what is happening in the European Union regarding Bisphenol A. Is the EU addressing the safety of BPA? Thank you so much.

The European Union's food safety watchdog, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), may review the chemical Bisphenol A, the agency website says.
"EFSA is aware of the studies on bisphenol published in the United States and Canada. The agency will examine whether it should review its opinion on this product, which dates from January 2007," spokeswoman Anne-Laure Gassin said.

Bravo! Wonderful reporting. Can you please tell me which plastics contain the toxic substances? Are they marked in any way, i.e. by the number in the triangle on the bottom? Many thanks to you for such a wonderful expose.

Plastic containers with the recycling number 7 often contain polycarbonate, which contains Bisphenol A. You should know that not all plastic containers have recycling labels on them, including baby bottles and sippy cups. Those with the no. 3 on them are made of polyvinyl chloride which may contain Bisphenol A as well as phthalates, another kind of endocrine disruptor.

In your opinion, if the government does decide to act and announces that Bisphenol A poses enough of a risk to ban it from products such as water bottles an the linings of metal cans, what will the fall-out or repercussions be? Will the millions(?) of products inflate in cost along with the regular inflating? Will we see certain products being recalled? What other chemicals are we being exposed to that could cause great health risks that the government has ignored due to corporate manipulation and interests?

Several companies are removing bisphenol A from their products or merchandise, including Nalgene, Wal-Mart and Toys R Us. Many are working to develop alternatives to Bisphenol A. We'll be watching to see what the effects on the marketplace will be.
There still are many chemicals in use that scientists are suspicious of and others that are known to be dangerous that remain in the marketplace.

Do you think that there will be more reporters like yourselves -- with specialized science backgrounds? Does the consumer's ability to access more and more information hampering or helping beat journalism?

There probably will be more reporters with specialized backgrounds in science -- also law, education, the arts, etc. It's a really interesting question to wonder if more information by consumers hampers or helps beat reporters. It probably helps. The more consumers know, the better their questions will be. They will be pushing us to ask more and tougher questions.

The report says that from 1996 to 2007 --- a period that had both parties in the White House --- the EPA hadn't screened a single chemical. Are both parties compromised by the chemical lobby's influence?

We will let the educated viewers of PBS figure that out.

What was the $80 million for endocrine research actually spent on, if not chemical testing?

The $80 million went for "payroll and program support" to develop the screening program, according to the EPA spokespeople. They had a lot of meetings to discuss how to screen these chemicals. They went through no fewer than three different permutations of the program.

It's always heartening to see good, relevant journalism. Thank you. How does one determine what plastic items contain Bisphenol A? Can it be purged from the body once ingested?

Look for recycling no. 7 -- and generally any hard, non-disposable clear plastic is likely to contain Bisphenol A. Children and adults break down Bisphenol A pretty quickly. But there is nearly constant exposure. So, the body gets inundated. Research shows that very young babies and fetuses may not be able to break it down because they lack an enzyme that allows them to do so.


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If there was any pics of the expose, that would be perfect.

And what about adding some more images? No offence, content is really great. But according to the scientists people acquire information much more efficient if there are certain useful illustrations.

Nency Tayfon
jammer car

I think that we should pull back are troops from the war in Afganistan.

Your post reminds me of when I was a child growing up in Kansas. My pappy used to say "When life give you lemons, make lemonade". But he was a hopeless drunk who never made much sense so I never paid much attention to him. Have a great day!

Looking for info/sites on how to rid my child of these toxic chemicals. Is there any info on detox?

Did dentistry stoop so low to sell a product or is it that no one knows what they are talking about? The answer lies in an E-mail I received from a friend who is a dentist:

Lies, Myths, and Fairytales told in Dentistry
Myth #1. All you have to be is a good dentist and patients will flood your office.
Reality: The public doesn't know the difference between a good and a bad dentist.
Good Dentists are usually to busy helping patients and don’t spend enough time to promote their dental practices. Bad dentists know how to attract unsuspected patients and later talk them into procedures they don’t need.
Myth #2: Advertising and Marketing is unprofessional.
Reality: Advertising and marketing is the best way to educate the public on what they need and to sell them what they don’t need.
Myth #3: We are in a Recession.
Reality: While The New York Times and CNN is brain washing everyone about the doom and gloom of our economy, those who know how to take advantage of the situation also know how to profit from it. I believe that while some dentists are using this philosophy to promote business, other dentists use it to “clean patients”. The term clean is a term thieves use on the streets in Russia to rob unsuspected tourists.

This is in regards to the “Can the public trust reporters?” We are in a time when public’s trust in the mainstream media is at an all time low. The public is beginning to view journalism with a critical eye and are beginning to label journalists as conscious propagandists who will do anything to push their political agendas. Today’s journalists are also starting to become lazy. As soon as a story pops up by a competitor, rather than finding sources to back up the information, the media outlets form packs and report the story without backing up the information. I did some investigating about the snap on teeth appliance and came to the conclusion that the media by publicizing the appliance caused other dentists to jump aboard to cash in on its popularity.

Can the public trust reporters?
Video URL: This video is about the Overlay Cosmetic Appliance that has concealed hooks for retention and metal chewing surfaces for durability. Unfortunately this appliance is no longer available because dentistry wants to preserve the big profits made on crowns and veneers. After the story was aired on NBC news stations in 2004, a few dentists determined to cash in on its instant popularity, with the help of the media started advertising a plastic appliance that has been around for thirty years. The following is one of many comments made by patients who got ripped off by such a device:
“I went to NYC and wasted $1500 for a lower piece that looks like a toy for Halloween. I had to pay up front and when I picked them up and had them placed in my mouth, the whole office staff raved how real and beautiful they looked. The more I looked at them, the more I hated them. It also hurt. When I removed them, I though my teeth were going to fall out. I called the next day and wanted my money back. I couldn’t handle how FAKE they looked and my family and friends agreed. When I went to the office, the Dr. was a jerk and everyone was so different. How dare he sell a piece of plastic toy for $1,500? To make this miserable story short, he refunded $500 and I had to sign a paper. I hope he gets caught and exposed real soon. I won’t say his name, but since there are only a couple of them using the same appliance and story, I would hope they all meet with law suits soon. I work hard for my money and I feel I have been robed and he got away with it and continues to do so.”
Numerous reporters were contacted to write an article on this subject asking the public to write in if they have had a similar problem with any dentist in New York or any place else. Unfortunately only one has responded:
“Thank you for taking the time to write to me. Correspondence from readers like you is very important to me. Sharing our points of view is precisely why my contact information is listed. I have forwarded a copy of your email to our Medical reporter. Thanks again for contacting me and thank you for reading the Chicago Tribune.”
Since nothing further was heard from him or anyone else, it appears that there is no reporter out there who is willing to stick out his or her neck to point out errors made by their colleges. Without investigating, their colleges took the word of a self promoting dentist and helped him lure unexpected patients to waist their hard earned money on a false hope. Here is the most recent comment I found on this web site:

Having a Perfect Smile May Be a Snap: “Snap-on Smiles”
They are uncomfortable, and only good for looks. I sound like a horse with a bit in its mouth. When I speak, I sound like I have a speech problem and it constantly gives me a headache. Don't waste your $2,700 like I did. I have gone back to my dentist for so called adjustments with no improvements. I contacted the company that made them and they said they would remake them but my dentist does not want to do it.
Bottom line, it is false advertising like most things you see on TV like the miracle cleaners, male enhancements and fitness products.
All these companies are in it to make money, they could care less if you come back again because of the profits they make the first time.

I didn't know where else to post this comment, but I was wondering - why is Juan Williams still on the radio for PBS, at the same time he is a shill at Fox News, agreeing with Bill O'Reilly? It seems as though that would definitely be in the "working both sides of the fence" catagory, and one be mutually exclusive of the other.

Why isn't anyone mentioning Dan Rather in the new development of Scott McClellan's story? Didn't he loose his job behind reporting on Bush?

Moyers asked the million dollar question that we all ask on last week's show: "is there no price to be paid" for the seemingly unabashed untruthfulness being stuffed into Americans by the Bush Administration? The esteemed panelists simply stipulated, to a person, that it is the media's job to dig out all the lies and bust the President and his cronies. Not one made a single mention of the Administration's moral duty to honor the public trust by telling us the truth. Why do we Americans (including journalists) take this lying down? It is time for the citizenry to demand that the President's platform includes the unequivocal promise to tell us the truth, because "YES WE CAN" take it.

These newsmen never brought up facts
Americans need to know that Nader at
least discusses and which the public is
also aware of. They don't have to vote for
Nader but he hits on what the public wants more info on like that American troops are in hundreds of countries besides Iraq, that the U.S. violated international law invading a country that
didn't attack us. Also if the newsmen discussed "impeachment now" that John Nichols of the Nation pointed out
would send a message to the next president that they can't continue Bush's behavior, people would respond.

...Harpers Index, May issue, contains a disturbing factoid; as much as one quarter of the "sand" on the worlds beachs is now plastic.

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