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BPA Found in Canned Foods

Jan 1, 2009

Bisphenol A—BPA—the ubiquitous, estrogen-mimicking chemical that hardens plastic has, according to another emerging study, been found in some popular canned foods, said FoxNews.

According to Consumer Reports’ December issue, it “tested soups, juice, tuna, and green beans,” said FoxNews, and discovered “19 name-brand foods” contain some level of BPA. As we have previously noted, BPA can be found in everything from baby bottles, sippy cups, water bottles, aluminum can linings, eyeglasses, and cars, to DVD and CD cases and some dental sealants. BPA can also be found in appliances and windshields; on recyclable bottles, BPA, as a component, can be verified if the item contains recycling number 7. We recently wrote that BPA has also been found to be present in common paper receipts. With BPA turning up in carbonless copy and thermal imaging papers, its common usage has grown exponentially.

FoxNews noted that the canned foods found containing BPA included organic foods, that organic foods did not necessarily have lower levels of the toxin, and that some products contained the toxin despite labeling that the cans were BPA-free. The highest levels were seen in Del Monte Fresh Cut Green Beans Blue Lake, Progresso Vegetable Soup, and Campbell's Condensed Chicken Soup, as well as in Similac Advance Infant Formula and canned Nestle Juicy Juice, reported FoxNews.

"The BPA levels in our samples of Nestle Juicy Juice, at about 9 parts per billion, were not among the highest in the foods we tested. However, considering how many servings of juice young children may consume daily, a child still could exceed a level that Consumers Union thinks would provide an adequate margin of safety," said Dr. Urvashi Rangan, director of Technical Policy, at Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, quoted FoxNews. "The lack of any safety margin between the levels that cause harm in animals and those that people could potentially ingest from canned foods has been inadequately addressed by the FDA to date," Dr. Rangan added. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines say 50 micrograms of BPA for each kilogram of body weight is acceptable, said FoxNews.

In urine tests, BPA is found in the overwhelming majority of Americans, more than 93 percent. Despite this, industry has long argued that scientists and consumer advocates exaggerate the chemical’s adverse effects, continually citing two industry studies; however, at last count, over 900 peer-reviewed studies found links between BPA and health effects. The industry group, American Chemistry Council, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also maintain current levels are safe, said FoxNews. New FDA guidelines are expected, as we have been writing, at month’s end.

BPA has long been connected to increased risks of brain, reproductive, cardiac, and immune system diseases and disorders; problems with liver function testing; interruptions in chemotherapy treatment; and links with serious health problems. Studies have overwhelmingly found BPA to have negative effects at doses lower than current FDA standards; retention in the body longer than was previously believed; leeching into liquids being held in containers regardless of the containers’ temperature; and longer lasting damage, which some feel can be passed to future generations.

Laws are either in effect or coming into effect in a variety of states and counties in the United States in which the sale of certain products containing polycarbonate has been banned, for instance, in baby bottles, food containers, and sippy cups. Canada was the first country to announce plans to ban BPA, calling it a toxin and some retailers and manufacturers have announced plans to stop making products containing the chemical. Other states are looking into similar measures and a federal ban has been proposed in Congress on all food contact material.


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