Canned foods found to contain dangerously high level of toxic chemical bisphenol-A (BPA)

Monday, April 02, 2007 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: bisphenol A, bisphenol-A, canned foods

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A new study spearheaded by the Environmental Working Group found the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in over 50 percent of the name-brand canned goods tested. In some cases, a single serving was enough to expose a woman or infant to BPA levels that were 200 times higher than the government's safe level for industrial chemicals.

Jump directly to: conventional view | alternative view | resources | bottom line

What you need to know - Conventional View

• BPA is an industrially produced chemical commonly used in polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins. BPA-containing resins are a common ingredient in the linings of canned goods.

• BPA is a known estrogen mimicker, and can cause hormone-disrupting effects, toxicity or even neurotoxicity, low sperm counts and cancer. Some of these effects can occur in concentrations as low as two parts per billion. More than 200 animal studies show that BPA is toxic at very low doses, and the Centers for Disease Control explains that it has found BPA in 95 percent of patients being tested at levels that raise health concerns.

• The study found that cans of chicken soup, infant formula and ravioli had the highest levels of BPA. One to three servings of these foods was enough to expose women or children to BPA levels that have been shown to cause harm in animal tests.

• One in 10 of the cans tested -- and one in three cans of infant formula -- contained concentrations high enough that a single serving contained levels less than five times lower than the dose shown to cause harm in animal studies. Typically, the government classifies exposure as dangerous if it is within 1,000 to 3,000 times that shown to harm animals.

• The FDA estimates that 17% of the U.S. diet comes from canned food, but there is no government safety standard regulating the amount of BPA allowed in such foods.

• Quote: "Given widespread human exposure to BPA and hundreds of studies showing its adverse effects, the FDA and EPA must act quickly to revise safe levels for BPA exposure based on the latest science on the low-dose toxicity of the chemical." - Environmental Working Group

What you need to know - Alternative View

Statements and opinions by Mike Adams, author of Grocery Warning: How to identify and avoid dangerous food ingredients

• It is worth noting that bisphenol-A is only found in processed, manufactured foods and packaging. Consuming fresh, raw produce avoids the ingestion of bisphenol-A.

• Food packaging that has long been considered "safe" by the FDA is now being found to be surprisingly hazardous to human health. As a general rule, the more fresh food you eat and the less processed, packaging food you eat, the lower your risk will be for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, neurological disorders and many other diseases.

Resources you need to know

• The Environmental Working Group website: www.EWG.org

Bottom line

• A new study found dangerous levels of the toxic chemical bisphenol A in one-tenth of canned foods and one in three cans of infant formula.

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