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Heard on the Hill: Plastic Is Fantastic, Pro-Foam Group Says of Cafeteria Cups

The Great Cafeteria Cup War of 2011 rages on. The latest salvo comes from the American Chemistry Council, which apparently thinks the Styrofoam cups in the House cafeterias are getting a bad rap.

Here’s the pro-foam spin: The cups in the cafeterias do not, the group repeats, NOT cause cancer. A group of House Democrats suggested as much last month. In a letter that they circulated, the Democrats warned that the Styrofoam cups, with which Republicans replaced the recycled-material containers favored by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), might be toxic.

The council wrote lawmakers this week to defend their wares. Calling the Democrats’ anti-foam slander “inaccurate and unfair,” the group declared, “Polystyrene is a modern plastic material approved by [the Food and Drug Administration] as safe for use in food contact.”

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