In a podcast and an article published online on February 16, 2015 by the NPR (formerly National Public Radio) correspondent Jon Hamilton reports on a legal battle involving a plastic marketed as “EA-free”. EA-free plastics are not only free of bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7), but also other substances with similar estrogenic activity (EA). The legal conflict involves a chemical company Eastman Chemical and George Bittner (FPF reported). Bittner, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin, U.S. is also a founder of CertiChem and PlastiPure, companies that test and develop EA-free plastics. In 2007, when many consumers already started avoiding products made with BPA, Eastman brought to the market a BPA-free plastic Tritan® . Bittner and other scientists, however, proposed that consumers should not only settle for BPA-free products, but also demand products that were free of any chemicals with EA. In response, Eastman added “EA-free” to Tritan’s description. Yet, at the same time PlastiPure begun suggesting that Tritan was actually not EA-free under certain conditions. Eastman sued PlastiPure and won the case (FPF reported). PlastiPure and CertiChem were told to change their marketing tactics. In December 2014, an appeals court upheld that ruling. The companies have now changed their strategy. The message is transmitted out by publishing peer-reviewed papers about estrogenic plastics that specifically mention Tritan and products made with it (FPF reported). People are now recognizing that it is not the courts that determine scientific questions, Bittner says.
Jon Hamilton (February 16, 2015). “Beyond BPA: court battle reveals a shift in debate over plastic safety.” NPR