Thursday, November 5, 2009

Consumer group finds BPA in canned foods

What's in your pantry?
What's in your pantry?
Wikimedia commons - Are the canned foods in your cabinet safe? According to the FDA, 17% of the American diet is from canned foods, many of which have an epoxy liner made with BPA. Consumers Union, a non-profit organization which publishes for Consumer Reports, released its findings on 19 canned products which were tested for bisphenol A (BPA). They found measurable levels in a range of foods, some of which were labeled "BPA" free."
BPA is a chemical used in polycarbonate plastic food and drink containers and in resin linings for cans. Research has shown that BPA can leach into food from these containers and cans. Because BPA appears to cause health problems in animal studies, some scientists are concerned about the risk of its exposure to people.
This chemical has been linked by some studies to breast cancer, diabetes, early onset of puberty, infertility and prostate cancer. BPA mimics estrogen, hence the link to breast cancer and early puberty.
Canada has restricted the use of BPA in baby bottles as have some states. The FDA is studying BPA, but has not yet issued warnings about it in baby bottles or other products which come into contact with food.  However, the top six makers of baby bottles in the U.S. have agreed to stop using BPA in their bottles due to earlier studies and media exposure of the chemical in baby bottles.
We should have learned by now not to wait for the FDA to protect us. It's no wonder cancer is wreaking havoc in our society. But people must share the blame. We are a microwaveable, throw-away society. People want convenience; water in plastic bottles for instance. It's time for Americans to take charge of their health.
Here are some things you can do to reduce your family's exposure to BPA:
  • Choose glass or BPA-free plastic baby bottles.
  • Use glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers for hot foods and liquids.
  • Avoid plastic containers with the No. 7 recycling label - they're made with BPA.
  • Don't microwave polycarbonate plastic food containers. Instead, use glass containers designed for microwaving.
  • Reduce your use of canned foods - many cans are lined with a BPA-containing resin.
 Staying healthy is a choice and to make informed choices we need good information.