(NaturalNews) A product survey conducted by The Independent found that the toxic chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) is used in 18 on the 20 top-selling canned food products in the United Kingdom.
BPA is one of the most widely produced chemicals in the world. It is used to harden plastic in everything from infant and water bottles to mobile phone and computer casings, and also to make linings for cans of food, beverages and infant formula. Yet a growing body of research has implicated the chemical as an endocrine (hormone) disruptor that can lead to cancer, birth defects, behavioral problems and other diseases.
The FDA recently reversed its position on the safety of BPA, acknowledging concern over the chemical's effects on the development and brains of infants and young children. This move sparked a new, still-ongoing review of the chemical's safety by the European Food Safety Authority. The British Food Standards Agency still maintains that BPA poses no health risks.
The Independent surveyed manufacturers General Mills, Heinz, Spam, Asda, Baxters, John West, Princes, Premier Foods, Sainsburys and Tesco about the use of BPA in the liners of several of their canned food products. Together, the 20 products represented account for £921 million ($1.4 billion) in sales, or 43 percent of the total for all canned food sold in the United Kingdom.
Every manufacturer sold at least one product lined with BPA. The only cans not lined with the chemical were those containing Tesco canned fruit and Tesco Value tomato products. Yet Tesco and Tesco Value canned fish both came in cans lined with BPA.
Other top-selling products in BPA-lined cans included soups, baked beans, corned beef, canned pies, chopped ham, long spaghetti and Green Giant Niblets.
Claire Dimmer of Breast Cancer UK called for manufacturers to clearly label all cans that are lined with BPA.
"Otherwise it's impossible for us to make a decision on ways of limiting our and our families' exposure to this chemical," she said.