Since she’s been in Tallahassee, Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried has primarily opposed two things: Ron DeSantis and guns.
Now, she’s found a third.
Fried, the only Democrat elected to statewide office in Florida, is declaring war on polystyrene – a plastic compound most of us know as the commercial product Styrofoam.
Fried has been touring the state lately to promote a rule she seeks to impose on Florida businesses. If adopted, the regulation would require some 40,000 companies under her authority to report how much polystyrene they use each year, and then mandate them to reduce that amount annually, according to Florida Politics.
Fried argues they should switch to natural materials, such as hemp or bamboo.
“Everyone at some point has their food or drink from a Styrofoam cup, bowl, plate, or to-go boxes like this,” Fried said recently. “They might be convenient. But there is a hidden danger to public health from these disposable consumer products.”
“Studies have shown that chemicals in polystyrene foam may be linked to cancer, vision and hearing loss, birth defects, respiratory irritation, and damage to the liver, kidneys, among other public health impacts,” she added.
Fried noted that six other states are already banning such containers and products.
On the surface, this just seems like more liberal fearmongering, because the original push to end polystyrene use was an environmental issue, not a public health one.
But no one, it appears, has asked Fried the logical question: What do we do about all the not so easily disposable consumer products made with polystyrene?
As the website ChemicalSafetyFacts.org points out, polystyrene is everywhere.
Refrigerators, air conditioners, ovens, microwaves, vacuum cleaners, blenders are some of the products we use with this flexible plastic. It’s also in car parts and child-protective seats.
Additionally, you can find polystyrene in televisions, computers, and other types of IT equipment, insulation for homes and other buildings, as well medical devices, and in packing and packaging for shipping and foods.
It may be that Fried and others who now push the public health angle suggest the toxic ingredients in polystyrene may be leaching into our food.
But, as ChemicalSafetyFacts.org notes, that ignores the fact that the U.S. Food & Drug Administration regulates food containers, and has done so with Styrofoam-style products for more than 50 years.
And the FDA still considers it safe. The website pointed to a 2013 study that showed the “migration” of chemicals in polystyrene containers was 10,000 times less than the maximum allowed by the FDA.
Perhaps the argument involves styrene, a chemical that appears naturally and can be made synthetically. It is an ingredient in the making of polystyrene, but is a separate thing.
The claim now, following a ruling by the WHO, is that styrene is a probable carcinogenic.
Yet even now, the CDC, the liberals’ favorite agency, on its website notes, “The human health effects from exposure to low environmental levels of styrene are unknown.”
“Workers exposed to large amounts of styrene can develop irritation of the eyes and breathing passages. With long-term and large exposures, workers using styrene have had injury to their nervous systems.”
But almost none of us have long-term, direct exposure to styrene.
As Fried shows, the Democrats’ war on modernity continues, with consumers sucking up the higher costs and nonsense from the collateral damage.
Android Users, Click Here To Download The Free Press App And Never Miss A Story. It’s Free And Coming To Apple Users Soon.