Non-profit health organizations and consumer-advocacy groups like the Breast Cancer Fund, Canada’s Environmental Defence, and the Ecology Center, have warned consumers for years about the potential health consequence related to BPA. The chemical, which is used in plastics and resins that line food cans, may be linked to hormone disruption. This connection is of particular concern to pregnant and nursing women and young children, especially young girls. This latest study, which was conducted by the three advocacy organizations listed above as well as others, analyzed the presence and quantity of BPA in canned food linings, including fruits, vegetables, gravy, broth, soups, milks, and beans.
With the exception of brands like Amy’s Kitchen, Annie’s Homegrown, and Conagra, the study found that the majority of canned foods sold in America today still contains BPA in their linings.
In fact, a whopping 100% of Campbell’s canned food products had BPA in the lining, while 71% of Del Monte cans and 51% of General Mills cans registered positive for the chemical. The foods with the highest rate of BPA lining were broth and gravy (contained in 100% of those tested). The lowest levels of BPA were in canned corns and peas (at a 41% rate).
On Monday, Campbell’s announced they will transition to using non-BPA linings by mid-2017. Many other food brands echo Campbell’s move and have promised to eliminate the chemical from their food containers in the coming years. However, as this study reveals, they still have some work to do.
Concerns about BPA’s safety have been prominent in the last few years, and conflicting research and reports haven’t settled the issue yet. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains that BPA is perfectly safe for adults in small amounts, but in 2012 they banned its use in baby bottles and sippy cups. Studies have also linked BPA to infertility, birth defects, and early on-set puberty in girls.
As for alternatives, nobody has yet found an ideal choice to replace the BPA linings. Most alternatives are chemically similar and could therefore cause the same health concerns that the original lining did. Those concerned about exposure to BPA or similar chemicals should try sticking with fresh produce, equally healthy frozen vegetables and fruit, homemade broths, and gravies.
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