A new study of several leading brands of kids’ canned foods has found various levels of bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogenic chemical that has been linked to breast cancer, in 12 cans tested.
The Breast Cancer Fund collected 2 samples of 6 different types of food marketed to children, and found levels of BPA ranging from 21 parts per billion (ppb) to 77.5 ppb, with an average of 49 ppb.
The tested products include:
- Annie’s Homegrown Cheesy Ravioli
- Campbell’s Disney Princess Cool Shapes Pasta with Chicken in Chicken Broth
- Campbell’s Spaghettios with Meatballs
- Campbell’s Toy Story Fun Shapes, Shaped Pasta with Chicken in Chicken Broth
- Chef Boyardee Whole Grain Pasta, Mini ABC’s & 123’s with Meatballs
- Earth’s Best Organic Elmo Noodlemania Soup
BPA is used in to make the inner linings of food cans.
“What’s meant to be a protective barrier between the metal and the can’s contents actually contains this toxic chemical, which leaches into the food and is then consumed by adults and children alike,” says the report.
These findings illustrate the need for action to remove BPA from cans, says the Breast Cancer Fund, a move the organization is promoting through its Cans Not Cancer campaign, which asks consumers to urge companies to take BPA out of their packaging.
Research has shown that exposure to BPA, even in small amounts, can increase a person’s risk of breast and prostate cancer, infertility, early puberty in females, type-2 diabetes, obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, reports the study.
However, highly regarded study published in June in Toxicological Sciences showed that the concentration of BPA in a human’s bloodstream after exposure to BPA is extremely low compared to the amount they encounter. While animals may be affected by the chemical in clinical studies, these levels aren’t enough to cause harm to humans.
“In a nutshell,” said Justin Teeguarden, the project’s head researcher, “we can now say for the adult human population exposed to even very high diestary levels, blood concentrations of the bioactive form of BPA throughout the day are below our ability to detect them, and orders of magnitude lower than those causing effects in rodents exposed to BPA,” reported Forbes.
This research – commissioned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that studies examining how BPA impacts animals, which have previously been used to determine its effects on humans, cannot be extrapolated to people.
And other independent studies have shown that the body quickly detoxifies and expels BPA after consuming it.
The Breast Cancer Fund, however, argues that even low levels of BPA such as those found in the cans of soup it sampled, can cause harm when consumed over a long period of time.
However, other experts say that BPA has yet to be shown to cause long-term harm.
“No governmental science-based advisory board in the world has concluded that BPA is harmful,” said Jon Entine, a science writer, in the September issue of The American.
“Political systems often operate with limited information and short time horizons, while much of science is complex and evolving,” he said in reference to campaigns in the US to ban BPA.