Outdoor enthusiasts were justifiably alarmed when it was reported that water bottles like Nalgene and Sigg contained Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical linked to reproductive abnormalities, heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes, and heart disease. The outcry promptly forced these companies to switch to BPA-free products.
However, water bottles are just the beginning. BPA is found in virtually all plastic bottles and food cans. Everything from Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup to Star Kist tuna to the Jolly Green Giant’s green beans are in BPA-lined cans, according to the latest issue of Consumer Reports. Almost all of the 19 name-brand foods tested contain measurable amounts of BPA.
Equally frightening was the finding that even some products labeled “BPA-free” still contained trace amounts of BPA.
Consumers’ groups are calling on manufacturers and government agencies to act to eliminate the use of BPA in all materials that come in contact with food and beverages. The FDA is also re-evaluating its standards for acceptable levels of BPA; results should be announced later this month. Several bills before Congress call for a BPA-ban, but food and manufacturing industry groups have stalled those bills thus far.
In the meantime, Consumer Reports recommends buying fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible and finding alternatives to canned food, beverages, and juices. Glass and stainless steel are safer options for storage of foods and beverages.
Only one U.S. company is legitimately BPA-free: Eden Organics. They have been BPA-free for over a decade and are the only U.S. food manufacturer to date that uses BPA-free steel cans.
Results of the Consumer Reports study can be found here.