Fenton and Wal-Mart vs. the Plastics Industry?

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(household products likely to contain BPA, via Science News)

The issue of the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) has been brewing–or leaching out–in to the media for some time now. Found in some clear hard plastic products, it’s bad stuff that can act like estrogen. The main scare is the affects BPA may have on babies nursing on plastic bottles.

I’ve argued that Wal-Mart is at its best on the PR front when it flexes its corporate might in ways that benefits the consumer–a great example is how they pushed compact florescent bulbs in spite of GE–and the move by the company to remove baby bottles with BPA has snared some good publicity. The megastore’s unlikely bedfellow is Fenton Communications, whose formadible client list has put them on the same side, according to a Fortune article on BPA:

Fenton Communications, a Washington, D.C. PR firm, is another key warrior against BPA. Fenton’s clients have included Born Free and its BPA-free bottles; the Environmental Working Group , which has led the fight against BPA for years; and trial lawyers. Fenton also works for liberal advocacy groups like MoveOn that support Democrats in Congress who have sponsored legislation to ban BPA from children’s products.


An interesting case study is that awareness of BPA seems to be hitting Nalgene the hardest even though they’re probably not found in many households and though they’ve pledged manufacture BPA-free bottles. A beneficiary of the battle is Sigg, the Swiss makers of those colorful aluminum bottles everyone seems to be carrying–many probably unaware why they’re now trendy. From yesterday’s Metro newspaper:

Celebs (Madonna included) are now attaching their names to tap water charities, and this summer’s must-have item is the a Swiss-made aluminum Sigg water bottle. (The company was so overwhelmed after recent reports on some polycarbonate plastic No. 7 bottles leaching bisphenol A, a chemical linked to disrupting hormones, it had to pause Internet sales.)

Treehugger has “7 Ways to beat BPA, in order of importance