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Far North Texas Rep. Drew Springer Is Using Bunk Science to Prove Reusable Bags Are Killing People

Source: Facebook
Source: Facebook

Cooke County Rep. Drew Springer loves freedom, and freedom’s just another word for “hating reusable bags so much that he’s filed the  Shopping Bag Freedom Act.” It’s wordy, but effective.

The act, in part, reads:

A business that sells an item to a customer may provide to the customer at the point of sale a bag, package or other container made from any material.

An ordinance or regulation adopted by a local government purporting to prohibit or restrict a business from providing to a customer at the point of sale a bag, package or other container made from any material is invalid and has no effect.

It’s designed to combat Austin’s new ban on plastic bags, which followed similar bans from across the country, most notably San Francisco. Ahhh San Francisco, that liberal bastion of salmonella-ridden reusable bags, toting organic turnips and unlicensed, raw muskrat milk. That’s Springer’s belief, at least. From the Texas Observer:

Springer said reusable bags pose a serious health risk that could end in illness, or even death. He told the Observer that there are studies that show rising sickness due to E. coli and salmonella where the bag bans have implemented.

“From a Medicaid standpoint … the City of Austin’s bag ban will cost the state of Texas $345,000,” Springer said. “I’m going to look to make sure that if the bag ban doesn’t pass, that we find a way to make sure the City of Austin pays the taxpayers around the state for that increase of Medicaid cost.”

The study he cites is “Grocery Bag Bans and Foodborne Illness” by University of Pennsylvania researchers Jonathan Klick and Joshua Wright, which contends that when San Francisco banned plastic bags, cases of salmonella and E.coli rose 47 percent in the county. The assertion was that bag-users were washing the bags, and the salmonella and E.coli were jumping all over their turnips. Stunning, right? Makes me want to throw away all my reusable bags, open an oil refinery, and start churning out some old-fashioned plastic guys.

But wait. Last month, UC-Berkeley epidemiologist Tomas Aragon released his own report, which should’ve been titled “Yeah, but…” but instead didn’t really have a name. In his study he found that while salmonella and E.coli numbers did rise, it was impossible to connect the rise to the reusable bags unless Klick and Wright were able to determine it was the reusable bag users that contracted the illnesses. And that would be impossible.

Springer’s set to argue the bill tonight before the House Urban Affairs Committee.

  • mike

    You are qualified to determine that the Ivy League researchers work is bunk, and that the Cal report is correct? Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say “unsettled” science, or do you just pick whatever science you like best?

    I favor a plastic bag ban, because people are a-holes and every time it rains and the water recedes every valley and stream looks like a hoarders living room. I’m in the oil industry, btw.

  • randy edwards

    If disposable bags are banned there and pretty much everyone has to go to the grocery store at some point each week, isn’t it reasonable to assume that the folks who got sick had to be reusable bag users? It’s an assumption, but still seems valid to me.

  • Austnite

    I’m Austinite and have been on the receiving end of the plastic bag ban for several weeks now (and happily so). It’s completely worth noting that while plastic bags are banned, paper sacks are still available. Springer is an a–hole.