A newly-released analysis shows just how prevalent Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical often used in plastic products and food can linings, is in the food industry. Though while the figures are scary, the information has sparked a great deal of positive changes in the food industry, such as Campbell’s move to remove BPA in its canned goods by 2017.
Bisphenol A (BPA was officially banned in baby bottles and sippy cups in 2012, but it is still widely used in canned foods to line the cans, and is also used to make reusable plastic food containers, and sports water bottles.
The chemical has been shown to increase the risk for diabetes, heart disease, infertility, and many other health problems. It has been linked to breast cancer in well over 130 studies. In addition, BPA is associated with brain damage; hormonal problems; and development issues in fetuses, infants, and young children. 
So it’s clear why we want to find safe replacements for the chemical and avoid BPA as individuals.
If you’ve heard the rumor that microwaving plastic food containers can leech chemicals into your food, it’s not a conspiracy theory or pure hype. Heating the containers does cause BPA to enter your food. BPA is also the reason why you should avoid bottled water, and if you do chug a bottle, you should recycle it and never reuse it.
Bisphenol A is Still in Dozens of Products
The new analysis, put together by the Breast Cancer Fund, Campaign for Healthier Solutions, Clean Production Action, Ecology Center, Canada’s Environmental Defense, and the Mind the Store Campaign, reveals that almost 70% of nearly 200 cans produced by major retailers such as Campbell Soup Company, General Mills Inc.’s Progresso, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s, contain (BPA) in the body or lid of the product.
Some 70% of Del Monte cans were found to contain BPA, and the substance was present in all Nestle “Carnation” cans.
The group writes in the report:
“Our analysis showed that, across the board, canned food manufacturers both large and small are not making good on their promises to discontinue use of BPA.”
The groups found no BPA in Amy’s Kitchen, General Mills’ Annie’s Homegrown, Hain Celestial Group, and ConAgra cans. Eden Foods Inc. said it eliminated BPA in nearly all of its canned foods, or at least 95% of them, and plans to eliminate all of it completely. 
Campbell’s Will Remove BPA from its Soup Cans
Just as the report showing the widespread prevalence of BPA was released, Campbell’s announced that it would remove the gender-bending chemical from its soup products by mid-2017 after the report showed BPA in all 15 of its soup cans. It’s a move that was made around the same time the company announced that it would adopt a label for its food products that contained genetically modified ingredients. The company seems to be making clear shifts due to consumer pressure. 
The company acted within days of receiving an advanced copy of the report. Mike Mulshine, packaging manager at Campbell’s, said in a statement:
“Our priority throughout this transition has been, and will continue to be, food safety. We have tested and conducted trials with hundreds of alternatives to BPA lining and believe the acrylic and polyester options will ensure our food remains safe, affordable and tastes great.”
About 75% of Campbell’s soups will be sold in BPA-free cans by the end of this year. 
Upon learning of the study’s findings, Del Monte launched a similar initiative. Beginning in May, the company’s fruit and tomato products, as well as nearly 100% of its vegetables, will convert to non-BPA can linings.
Scott Butler, vice president of research and development, quality assurance and operation services for Del Monte, said in a new release:
“It’s something we’ve been working on for five to seven years, and it’s been a complex journey to find alternatives that would meet our quality guidelines.”
And then Nestle got on board, with a spokesperson saying:
“Despite BPA being safe and posing no health risk to consumers, we have made a public commitment to remove it from our packaging materials. We have already eliminated BPA from our packaging for infant foods and are working towards completing the full transition of our product portfolio to non-BPA food contact packaging, where suitable safe alternatives exist.”
McCormick also says it will phase out BPA over the next 2 years.
Hopefully other industries will follow suit; apart from food, BPA is also present in cash register receipts, toys, medical devices, paints, and coatings.
This article originally appeared at Natural Society.
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