New report finds BPA still a major problem in canned food

toxic food cans

BPA is so 2008, right?

Not so fast. Remember the big hub-bub led by consumers and scientists about BPA in children’s products back in the 2000s, including sippy cups and water bottles? It ultimately to the banning of the chemical from plastics in products for children. But according to a new report, it’s still around in a big way.

BPA has been linked to all sorts of health problems, ranging from breast and prostate cancer, infertility, type-2 diabetes, obesity, asthma and attention deficit disorder. Now, a new report by Breast Cancer Fund; Campaign for Healthier Solutions; Clean Production Action; Ecology Center; Environmental Defence (Canada) finds that BPA is in 2 out of 3 cans on store shelves.  Some of the other troubling findings include:

  • 100 percent of Campbell’s products sampled (15 of 15) contained BPA-based epoxy, while the company says they are making significant progress in its transition away from BPA.
  • 71 percent of sample Del Monte cans (10 of 14) tested positive for BPA-based epoxy resins.
  • 50 percent of sampled General Mills cans (six of 12, including Progresso) tested positive for BPA.
  • Discount retailers (commonly known as “dollar stores”) were among the laggards in transitioning away from BPA in can linings.
  • BPA was found in private-label cans sold at both Target and Walmart, the largest grocery retailer in the United States. In their private label products, 100 percent of Target cans sampled (five out of five) and 88 percent of Walmart cans sampled (seven out of eight) tested positive for BPA-based epoxy resins.

These results indicate that Americans are being exposed to this chemical much more than they may realize. Especially concerning are the results from dollar stores, because these are often the only retail food outlets in many low income and rural communities.

More findings can be found in the full report, including details about the testing process.

In the good news column, some companies are making progress toward eliminating BPA in their products:

  • Amy’s Kitchen, Annie’s Homegrown (recently acquired by General Mills), Hain Celestial Group, and ConAgra have fully transitioned away from BPA and have disclosed the BPA alternatives they’re using. Eden Foods reported eliminating the use of BPA-based epoxy liners in 95 percent of its canned foods and stated that it is actively looking for alternatives.
  • Whole Foods has clearly adopted the strongest policy of the retailers surveyed in the report. Whole Foods reports that store brand buyers are not currently accepting any new canned items with BPA in the lining material.

We will explore the report’s of BPA alternatives, what parents can do, and the report’s recommendations in the coming week.

Does your family strive to avoid BPA? Are you surprised by this new report? Please share in the comments.

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