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Are Canned Foods Exposing Children to BPA

Posted Sep 21 2011 4:31pm

Those popular canned foods found to have BPA may place children at health risk

April of this year had brought a report from the Breast Cancer Fund and Silent Spring Institute revealing exposure to BPA through canned foods. Now a new report once again released from the Breast Cancer Fund reveals BPA exposure in cans once more in those popular soups and pastas kids seem to love.

Bisphenol A referred to as BPA is still in a heating debate over its safety raising expert’s apprehension due to its possible negative health effects where children, infants and even fetuses are concerned.

BPA which is also found in clear plastic baby bottles, food storage containers and dental sealants to name a few, has been demonstrated in animal studies to be associated with negative health effects which includes the possibility for cancer.

In 2008, it was demonstrated that BPA leaks when hard plastics are heated. This had advocated major news headlines leading to the Canadian Government to respond by placing a ban on BPA in infant bottles, leaving the United States government to do simply nothing. However, several local governments and infant bottle manufacturers’ n the U.S. on their own accord went BPA free.

Now, BPA once more is rearing up in the news due to those cans that appeal to children and parents oblige in serving.

Researchers from the Breast Cancer Fund have set up testing for BPA in six products that are directly aimed at children through marketing. Two of those popular meals that kids beg for were “Disney Princess Soup” from Campbell’s and “Cheesy Ravioli” certified organic from Annie’s Homegrown. In all the cans tested the average BPA exposure was 49 parts each billion.

The levels found in these children’s favorite cans were slightly higher than what researchers had previously found in water and infant bottles according to Dr. Connie Engel, PhD, science education coordinator for the Breast Cancer Fund.

Why is this likely healthy hazard still in debate? According the World Health Organization, laboratory studies in cells and animals have associated BPA to cancer, diabetes, infertility and obesity. However, the long term effects of exposure in humans are not yet clear.

Dr. John Spangler, professor of family and community medicine, Wake Forest School of Medicine completely agrees with removing BPA out of cans. Dr. Spangler suggests in order cutting down exposure use fresh or dried pasta and sauce in jars. Have more fresh fruit and vegetables and cut down on cans.

Dr. Thomas Burke, PhD.,MPH, professor and associate dean at John Hopkins University School of Public Health, informs consumer the good thing about BPA is it does not accumulate in the system. He does note if you stop exposure the BPA levels in the body will decrease and do so faster than lead or mercury levels.

The Breast Cancer Fund is launching a new campaign to rid cans of BPA. The campaign called “Cans Not Cancer” is in efforts to have manufacturers of canned foods to replace the BPA in the cans with much safer alternatives that are not associated to disease.

Just what are the alternatives? According to the Breast Cancer Fund, buying frozen pasta or use dry pasta. There are many soups that come in “Tetra Paks” which resemble large juice boxes and can be resealed.

For fruit and vegetables the best alternative always has been fresh fruit and vegetables.

To read the results of the testing you can view it online at Breast Cancer Fund Canned Food Results.

As far as the FDA is concerned they are not currently making any decisions on BPA until further evidence is submitted. This not stopping other states to come forward and take action against BPA. Minnesota is just one of the several states taking action by entering laws prohibiting the sale of infant bottles, sippy cups, drink containers or food containers that contain BPA.

A study which had been released in mid 2010 had shown 19 U.S, states testing for BPA exposure in canned foods had included Michigan. The results had indicated over 90% of tested cans had detectable levels of BPA and some had even higher levels then previously shown.


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