There has been a lot of press recently surrounding BPA. What exactly is BPA? BPA (Bisphenol A) is an industrial chemical used to make polycarbonate plastic resins, epoxy and other products. There is currently a global public health debate gaining more momentum everyday surrounding about the safety of BPA. Packaging companies and chemical manufacturers claim BPA is safe while health advocates, scientists and health professionals think otherwise.
The Soft Landing Blog recently highlighted a new report, released in May 2010, titled No Silver Lining: An Investigation into Bisphenol A in Canned Foods. The report was co-authored by The National Workgroup for Safe Markets and the Center for Health Environment & Justice (CHEJ).
Here is an excerpt of their findings.
• 92% of the 50 cans we tested had detectable levels of BPA.
• One can of green beans had 1,140 parts per billion of BPA—the highest amount of any published study.
• A daily diet that included canned foods tested for this report could cause a pregnant 20-something woman to ingest levels of BPA shown to cause harm to fetal development in animal studies.
• Alternative materials are available, with more under development.
So, what can we as consumers do about it? The Soft Landing Blog suggests the following:
- Read the report, and educate yourself and your family
- Urge your Senator to support national legislation to ban BPA in food and drink containers.
- What to eat? We encourage individuals to purchase fresh foods (especially locally grown!) whenever possible followed by frozen or dried foods. If packaged foods are needed, choose glass, aseptic packages, or less toxic plastic containers when possible.
- Talk to your local grocery store manager, and ask them to phase out BPA in their canned food!
- Forward this on to your friends and family
- Support companies who already provide BPA-free cans.
The last point, number 6, I feel is very important. Companies that are taking action, instead of fighting the issue, should be applauded. One of my favorite companies, Eden Foods already sells beans, amongst, other foods in cans without BPA. They’ve recently taken it a step further to try to eliminate the can altogether. See recent article Eden Foods Finds a Better Solution to BPA-lined Cans for Tomatoes and Sauces for more information. I love seeing companies take action like this.
By eliminating BPA in the packaging of our food, we are one step closer to ridding our food of harmful chemicals.