Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Killing me softly

I know Uri wouldn't like it, but this post starts with yet another Scientific American article.
This time around the article is discussing the potential dangers of a certain type of plastics called BPA on babies. I have actually heard this story for a couple of months now: According to certain sources, this BPA plastic, when digested, is perceived by the body to be estrogen; and if you're a baby, you're more susceptible to it (especially if you're a male baby). Given that most baby bottles contain this lovely material, and given that baby bottles are routinely boiled for sterilization and then chilled for storage, they are potentially more dangerous than anything else for your baby.
As I've said, I've heard this before; this difference with the Scientific American article is that it is a relatively reliable source of information, as opposed to a source that tries to create hysteria in order to sell more copies.
The Sciam article has taught me two things: First, although the poisonous elements of BPA are still unverified, what is very much clear is that this plastic was never verified to be safe in the first place; it was passed as safe mainly for commercial reasons.
Second, we are all exposed to this BPA chemical day and night. It's not only when drinking from plastic bottles: it's in all plastic stuff, and it's even in cans. Yes, cans.

As far as operational steps are concerned, we looked everywhere for BPA free bottles and couldn't find any in the shops we usually buy our baby stuff from. Luckily, we live in the 21st century, so we've ordered a few bottles from an eBay seller in the USA. It's good to know that Australian babies are so well taken care of, though, especially when the rumor mill says BPA was altogether banned from baby products in Canada.
And yes, the next time we'll be buying Dylan Heinz ready made children food, we'll get the jars rather than the cans.
For the record, Dylan has been having all of his bottles for the last 9 months (his only 9 months) from Avant bottles. These contain BPA, which annoys the hell out of me: You take all this care to give Dylan the best opportunities and then you learn that you've fucked it all up through your ignorance. Jo had quite a limited diet during her pregnancy in order to be on the safe side, because after all you are what you eat; and now we learn that because of corporate greed we may have irreversibly damaged Dylan's health. An extra dosage of annoyance comes from the very high probability that the medical issues I am suffering from today may be the result of similar causes; and here I am now forwarding them onwards to my son.

I have discussed my relative contempt to Israel's holocaust memorial day on this very blog not that long ago. Basically, I'm annoyed at the way we fail to learn from the past; instead, we use memorial days to serve some silly agendas. Case in point: poisonous baby bottles. Now let me explain...
One of the thing about the Nazis was that they used technology to increase the efficiency of their killings. Adolf Eichmann was a bureaucrat. He was also a Nazi who, by "just obeying orders", was in charge of killing millions of Jews and other innocent people. All he did was sit by his desk and process the orders that made the murders possible, but by doing what he did he was the number one killer. Eichmann was unquestionably a mass murderer.
Today's mass murderers are fairly similar to Eichmann. Today's mass murderers are office workers like you and I, who - in the name of improved bottom lines for the benefit of shareholders - commit acts that are just as lethal as Eichmann's. Just like him, they think they're doing the world a favor, and in some respects they do: Virtually all of us are shareholders, if only through our pension plans, so we all "earn" through their actions.
However, I think our world has gone crazy when in the name of profits we allow ourselves to poison future generations without having a clue as to what the potential damages may be. Just how low can we go in our quest for money and power?
My conclusion is simple: the financial system running the world is all fucked up. It has been obvious with the ozone layer, with global warming, and now with baby bottles. We must do something about it before humanity collapses once and for all.
I have talked here before about Children of Men and how highly I think of this film, but now I no longer think of it as a prophetic warning; more than ever, I think we are already living the world of Children of Men.


Uri E. said...

I read the article, and then I tried to return to it and now the link is dead. Interesting.

Moshe Reuveni said...

I know Sciam don't keep their articles online indefinitely, but in this case it was probably maintenance or something. It's there now.

Moshe Reuveni said...

More on BPA research can be found in: