Executive Briefings

How Did Wal-Mart Become the New FDA?

Wal-Mart, along with CVS and Toys 'R Us, announced recently that it plans to stop selling baby bottles containing the chemical bisphenol-A.
The question is, why? Bisphenol-A has been widely used since the 1950s. The Food and Drug Administration, as well as Japanese and European regulators, have no problems with it. Canada is about to ban it from baby bottles, but officials term the move purely precautionary.
To be sure, other scientists worry because animal studies have linked small doses of BPA to cancer and other health problems. But scientific debate isn't driving the baby bottle war; a hard-hitting push by activist groups, politicians and trial lawyers is.
As traditional media picked up the story in the spring, spooked retailers like Wal-Mart backed away from BPA, while companies that had done so earlier scored a PR coup that boosted their fortunes.
Source: Fortune, http://money.cnn.com

Wal-Mart, along with CVS and Toys 'R Us, announced recently that it plans to stop selling baby bottles containing the chemical bisphenol-A.
The question is, why? Bisphenol-A has been widely used since the 1950s. The Food and Drug Administration, as well as Japanese and European regulators, have no problems with it. Canada is about to ban it from baby bottles, but officials term the move purely precautionary.
To be sure, other scientists worry because animal studies have linked small doses of BPA to cancer and other health problems. But scientific debate isn't driving the baby bottle war; a hard-hitting push by activist groups, politicians and trial lawyers is.
As traditional media picked up the story in the spring, spooked retailers like Wal-Mart backed away from BPA, while companies that had done so earlier scored a PR coup that boosted their fortunes.
Source: Fortune, http://money.cnn.com