Take Action to Eliminate BPA from Canned Foods

Submitted by dpeacock on November 17, 2011

As Green America senior writer Sarah Tarver-Wahlquist reported in her "Plastic(-free) Monday" blog post last week, there's a problem with toxic chemicals in our canned food.

The problem is bisphenol-A (BPA), a common additive in plastic products, including the plastic inner linings of food cans. BPA is an endocrine disruptor that has been linked to an array of frightening health problems, including heart disease, reproductive problems, and cancer. Now, our allies at the Breast Cancer Fund have published the results of a new study that found BPA lurking in a number of the staples of a Thanksgiving table, having leached from the can-linings into the food itself.

The Breast Cancer Fund tested canned foods like turkey gravy, creamed corn, cranberry sauce, canned pumpkin, evaporated milk, green beans, and cream of mushroom soup. They found that single servings of nearly half of the tested products showed BPA levels linked to adverse health effects. The study also found high variability in BPA levels even among cans of the same product. Their conclusion: Until BPA is phased out entirely from can linings, consumers can never be sure if their canned food contains BPA or not.

Some good news: Eden Foods has recently developed promising alternatives to the BPA epoxy resin that lines most canned foods. These alternatives must also still be subjected to rigorous testing for safety, however.

In the meantime, join with us and the Breast Cancer Fund to send a holiday "wish list" message to conventional food companies, asking them to phase out BPA from their products. Please take the action, check out the Breast Cancer Fund's report, and weigh in on our blog with strategies for keeping your kitchen BPA-free.

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