November 19, 2011
In recent studies it has been found that BPA can be linked to negative health effects such as breast and prostate cancers, infertility, early onset of puberty in girls, type-2 diabetes, obesity and certain neurological disorders. The chemical has been banned from all products used in childhood, however is still found in food-can liners, as well as clear plastic bottles, and has been restricted in Canada and some U.S. states. A group of researchers associated with the Breast Cancer Fund, suggest from new product testing that there is a presence of the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, in several canned foods that you may rely on to prepare a typical Thanksgiving dinner.
Consumer Reports decided to do further research on this to confirm the findings from the testing done by the Breast Cancer Fund to ensure there was not a conflict of interest. Although the numbers varied, the presence of BPA was confirmed.
The Breast Cancer Fund said that single servings of almost half of the canned products it had tested had levels of BPA comparable to levels that laboratory studies have linked to adverse health effects. The test results, released today, also found that the same products made by the same companies had varying levels of BPA. For example, levels of BPA in Del Monte creamed corn ranged from non-detectable to 221 parts per billion (ppb), and levels in Campbell's Turkey Gravy ranged from 5 to 125 ppb.
The 7 products tested include the following:
- Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Campbell's Turkey Gravy
- Carnation Evaporated Milk (by Nestle)
- Del Monte Fresh Cut Sweet Corn (Cream Style)
- Green Giant Cut Green Beans (by General Mills)
- Libby's Pumpkin (by Nestle)
- Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce
The testing also found that the cans of Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce did NOT contain any trace of BPA. The Breast Cancer Fund has said they will do further testing to find why these specific cans have the result of no BPA found, since the company has announced that they do use BPA in their cans.
The use of BPA in food items is to create the epoxy-resin lining of metal food cans. The lining creates a barrier between food and metal to prevent food contamination, however the contamination we are getting from the BPA itself is proving to be just as harmful to our health.
If you would like to limit your exposure to BPA experts have made the following recommendations:
- Choose fresh food whenever possible.
- Consider alternatives to canned food, beverages, juices, and infant formula.
- Use glass containers when heating food in microwave ovens.
The Breast Cancer Fund Website has a list of some can-free recipes for Thanksgiving.