March 30th, 2016

Is BPA In Your Food Cans? New Report Says Yes!

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Is BPA In Your Food Cans? New Report Says Yes!

There’s some bad news for those of us who thought BPA was a thing of the past.

A new report released today tested nearly 200 food can linings for the toxic chemical, Bisphenol A (BPA) and found that two out of three cans tested have the chemical in the lining. The report took a look at cans of vegetables, fruits, soups, broth, gravy, milks and beans from Campbell’s, Del Monte, General Mills, Kroger, Albertsons and more.

BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that negatively impacts our hormonal systems. It can also contribute to breast and prostate cancer, infertility, type-2 diabetes, obesity, asthma and attention deficit disorder. Other studies have shown that BPA can migrate into food and then into people, raising concerns about low dose exposure.

For the first time ever, this report also took a look at the replacement materials for BPA in can linings, and to what extent their safety has been studied.

Here are some of the report findings:

  • 100 percent of Campbell’s products sampled (15 of 15) contained BPA-based epoxy, while the company says they are making significant progress in its transition away from BPA.
  • 71 percent of sample Del Monte cans (10 of 14) tested positive for BPA-based epoxy resins.
  • 50 percent of sampled General Mills cans (six of 12, including Progresso) tested positive for BPA.
  • BPA was found in private-label cans sold at both Target and Walmart, the largest grocery retailer in the United States. In their private label products, 100 percent of Target cans sampled (five out of five) and 88 percent of Walmart cans sampled (seven out of eight) tested positive for BPA-based epoxy resins.

Some good news:

  • On the positive side, Amy’s Kitchen, Annie’s Homegrown (recently acquired by General Mills), Hain Celestial Group, and ConAgra have fully transitioned away from BPA and have disclosed the BPA alternatives they’re using. Eden Foods reported eliminating the use of BPA-based epoxy liners in 95 percent of its canned foods and stated that it is actively looking for alternatives. Whole Foods has clearly adopted the strongest policy of the retailers surveyed in the report. Whole Foods reports that store brand buyers are not currently accepting any new canned items with BPA in the lining material.
  • Upon learning about this report, Campbell Soup Company  agreed to switch to all BPA-Free packaging by 2017. While this is a step in the right direction we still don’t know what they’ll be using as a replacement liner. BPA-free isn’t enough.

What about the BPA alternatives?

The report found that retailers and brands that are phasing out BPA could be replacing it with substitutes that are just as toxic, if not worse. Unfortunately not much is known about the safety of these substitutes. Some of the retailers were lining the cans with a PVC-based copolymer that is made from a known human carcinogen. I think we can all agree that known and possible cancer causing materials don’t belong in a can liner that comes in contact with our food.

What can you do?

  • Consumers should choose fresh or frozen foods, or only purchase canned food from manufacturers and retailers that fully disclose the identity and safety of their can linings. Look for food packaged in other materials such as glass and Tetra Pak containers.
  • Demand that national brands, grocery stores, big box retailers and dollar stores eliminate and safely substitute BPA from all food packaging and label all chemicals used in can liners.
  • Join the national online campaign calling on Kroger and Campbell’s to eliminate and safely substitute BPA.

Campbell Soup Company’s decision to switch to all BPA-Free packaging by 2017 is a step in the right direction. Hopefully other canned food retailers will follow their lead.

The question now becomes what will they switch to and will it be safer than BPA? 


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8 Responses to “Is BPA In Your Food Cans? New Report Says Yes!”

  1. […] continue reading this post → […]

  2. Scary stuff! I love that you included the section on BPA alternative because much of the general public doesn’t know or understand that these analogs are no safer. Great post Lori!
    Cait recently posted..Best Stainless Steel Cookware SetsMy Profile

  3. What about the lining of lids on glass jars? Pasta sauce, curry sauce, etc. If it comes in a glass jar with a metal lid is there BPA on the inside of that lid? I hadn’t thought about it until I read your blog, but now I’m concerned about those lids.

    What is on the inside of those lids? I’ve not seen anything about what they contain.

  4. Hi Anja, That’s a great question. Now I’m curious too. I’ll have to do a little research and get back to you. Thanks for asking the question!

  5. Thanks for your reply. Now that I read your blog I got to thinking about this issue. I bought some juice the other day and noticed that on the inside of the plastic lid has some sort of softer plastic. Now I’m wondering about the inside of plastic tops on juice. What’s in that plastic? It’s probably the same thing as inside a sofa bottle, but I don’t know what that is either.

  6. Hi Anja, Plastic is plastic. Many times manufacturers use plastic as a sealant in all sorts of caps. Unfortunately even most reusable water bottles (glass or stainless steel) have plastic caps. It would be great to find a solid glass container with some sort of glass top- but that probably wouldn’t seal very well without plastic!

  7. […] mean it’s safe“. Once BPA was found to be toxic, retailers and brands began replacing it with substitutes that could be just as dangerous. Many manufacturers have replaced BPA with something called […]

  8. […] is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that negatively impacts our hormonal systems. It can also contribute to breast and prostate […]

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About Lori

Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

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