The South Dakota Legislature has defeated two measures dealing with bisphenol A, an organic compound used in making plastic. Bisphenol A is a nearly ubiquitous chemical; it's in at least 93% of us from environmental exposure. I probably have a double dose from all my plastic water bottles, which my lovely wife insists I should replace with metal. (Only problem: those metal bottles don't bounce back after I squeeze the water out.)

A wide variety of studies suggest bisphenol A isn't good for people. Wikipedia's article on bisphenol A currently has 229 footnotes and more than a dozen other links for your scientific perusal. Canada has declared it a toxic substance, and there's been pressure on manufacturers to at least remove bisphenol A from baby bottles and other children's products.

Our Legislature, however, remains mostly unconcerned. A couple weeks ago, House Health and Human Services killed HB 1254, which would have banned bisphenol A from food containers. That measure died 7&ndash5. Then Thursday, the Senate killed SCR 7, a resolution that merely urged Congress (respectfully!) to ban bisphenol A from children's products. Ah, but SCR 7 mentions Canada and the European Union, so that probably set off socialism alarms. SCR 7 failed by just one vote, 16&ndash17.

The state Dems dropped bombs on the Republicans for killing this resolution:

Senator Angie Buhl (D-Sioux Falls) lamented the resolution's demise. "This session has demonstrated that many Republicans care only that children are born — not that once born, children are provided a healthy, productive life. Ensuring the health and safety of our children should always be a priority. Senate Republicans who voted against this bill showed otherwise" [Senator Angie Buhl, "Senate Republicans Want to Expose Kids to Toxic Chemicals,", 2011.03.03].

But worth noting: two of my favorite Republicans, District 9 holy-rollin' Rep. Steve Hickey and my own District 8 neighbor Rep. Patricia Stricherz, supported both HB 1254 and SCR 7. Hickey and Stricherz (sounds like a fun 2018 gubernatorial ticket!) both signed on as sponsors to SCR 7 (as did perhaps the oddest possible House couple, Kloucek and Kopp). Hickey and Stricherz also both voted for HB 1254 in committee.