Consumer Reports magazine has just published findings that the BPA, or Bisphenol A, a toxin found in plastics is being used in canned goods. Highest levels of BPA have been found is canned soups, tuna and green beans. And sadly, buying only organic foods won’t protect you from BPA, either. The Consumer Reports showed no real difference in BPA levels between organic and non-organic canned goods. The issue is with the plastic coatings used on the cans themselves. Even cans labeled BPA-free contained BPA.
Just what is Bisphenol A? Well, if we dissect the word, we find the root word, ‘phenol’. Phenol is a poison; early in the century, phenol was popular poison with suicides and murderers. Phenol goes under the alias of carbolic acid as well. BPA is a chemical component in plastic and is a form of epoxy. BPA has been linked with increases risk of breast cancer and other forms of cancer. BPA mimics estrogen as well and has been linked to diminished sexual functioning in men.
I know, I ought to be smart enough to know better and avoid canned foods. But honestly canned goods are just so darn convenient. And they have a longer shelf life. But longer shelf life is part of the problem. Cans can sit for months on a shelf, absorbing more of the BPA into the foods. Foods that have been shown to contain high levels of BPA are canned green beans, canned tuna and canned soups. This does not mean that other canned foods do not contain BPA. And eating foods from various cans produces a cumulative BPA problem.
The current issue is a move to encourage the FDA to ban the use of BPA in products which will hold or contain food and drink. Democratic Representative Bart Stupak, from Michigan, made a good point. Stupak stated that problems occur when the FDA relies on industry to police itself. When the FDA bases its guidelines on data reported in industry findings and not from independent resources, we will inevitably get a skewed picture of the results.
Here is are some suggestions that will help you to avoid consuming high levels of BPA from canned goods. Food manufacturers are packaging more products in boxes and other alternatives to cans. Look for boxed products instead of cans. Another solution is to limit your consumption of foods packaged in cans. Obviously, the issue isn’t simple. Plastic is literally everywhere in our world. Let’s face it, we are going to be buying and eating foods packaged in cans. The idea isn’t too stop eating foods in cans. The idea is to be aware of which canned goods contain higher levels of BPA and ensure that we eat foods from those cans in moderation. Person’s who with compromised health or who are at risk for cancer may want to monitor food intake from BPA products. Pregnant women or nursing mothers should be particulary careful to avoid products containing BPA.
For more information on BPA, visit Consumer Reports.org.Our Stolen Future is another site that monitors BPA. To monitor progress in the issue of BPA and other diet and health concerns, visit the FDA.gov website for updates. You can follow my blog at www.healthhelp4u.blogspot.com as well.