Monday, April 28, 2008

Next thing to fear: Cans

So I'm reading the Boston Globe this morning, and I come across this, from something called the Green Blog:

Q: Do basic canned goods - soups, beans, etc. - have bisphenol A? What about bottled juices?

A: Bisphenol A is in the resin that lines a lot of canned goods, including canned tomatoes, corn, soups, and soda cans. Juice bottles are not made with bisphenol A. I advise people to try to limit their exposure to BPA by using fresh or frozen ingredients over canned whenever possible.


I've been aware of the discussion of BPA (Bisphenol A) in baby and other bottles, but I have pushed it to the back of my consciousness because I'm not a big baby bottle or other bottle user. However: I do use canned food. Not everyday, but several times a week. I use canned tomato sauce, canned stocks, canned beans. I always thought they were healthy (especially the beans).

Guess again.

So I'm surfing around, trying to figure out what is real. Here is what the Chemical Industry has to say about it:
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a key industrial chemical used to make polycarbonate plastic, epoxy resins and other products. Following the four-step procedure recommended by the United States National Academy of Sciences (NRC, 1983), a safety assessment of BPA concludes that the potential human exposure to BPA from polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin food contact applications is minimal and poses no known risk to human health.
Here is what the Environmental Working Group has to say:

BPA is an ingredient in plastics and the epoxy resins that line food cans. Low doses of BPA lead to a range of health problems, including birth defects of the male and female reproductive systems in laboratory animals. Despite the growing evidence of risk to human health, there are no limits on the amount of BPA allowed in canned food.

The tests found that pregnant women and infants who eat even a single serving of some canned foods are exposed to unsafe doses of BPA. Of the foods tested—which included many of the canned foods eaten most often by women of childbearing age—BPA levels were highest in canned pasta and soup. Canned infant formula also had high levels. Just one to three servings of food with these BPA levels could expose a pregnant woman or infant to harmful doses of the chemical.

So now what do I believe?

I'll tell you what I know. We have thousands of chemicals in our bodies from the air, water, the earth itself, from what we eat, from our homes. We are doing a giant research project on ourselves. 100 years from now, people will laugh at the silly things that we did to ourselves. "They made themselves sick! They gave themselves cancer! They were so stupid!" they will chortle. "Didn't they think at all about putting all these chemicals into the air, into the water, into the earth? Stupid, stupid, stupid."

Yep, they'll be laughing at us.


nachtwache said...

Never mind the chemicals, genetically altered food is scary. I posted an article from Dr. Mercola's site on my blog. That is freaky stuff!!

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