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Bag bans come with consequences

Dear Editor:

While the Aspen City Council considers instituting a fee on plastic bags, you should consider this: Those polypropylene bags that will replace them are likely to bring dangerous bacteria like E. coli in contact with your food. (“Paper or plastic in Aspen? How about neither,” Feb. 1, 2011, The Aspen Times)

According to a new survey from Opinion Research Corp., more than half of the people who do their grocery shopping with reusable bags have never washed them. This is despite the fact that a recent study from the University of Arizona found that more than half of the bags they tested came up positive for Coliform, while 11 percent tested positive for E. coli.



And there are dangers in these bags that you can’t just wash out: Sen. Charles Schumer has called on the FDA, EPA, and CPSC to look into the fact that excessive levels of lead have been found in these products.

What we’re seeing are the unintended consequences of ill-thought-out government regulations. Often, when the government rushes to push through feel-good regulations designed to shape public behavior, they usually introduce new problems. In this case, they might introduce new and potentially dangerous problems.



J. Justin Wilson

Senior research analyst, Center for Consumer Freedom, Washington, D.C.


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