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BPA - Three initials you don't want in canned food


Canned food is quick, convenient and sometimes a lifesaver when you haven’t had time to shop. Most of us consume canned food at least once a week but did you know it may be detrimental to your health? Cans containing Bisphenol A (BPA) can contaminate your food and damage your health. BPA, as we have previously reported on, is found in plastics, but it’s also in the epoxy-resin liners of canned food. There have been recent studies undertaken which prove BPA is an endocrine disrupter with the ability to cause diabetes and there are strong links to it causing hormone problems and breast cancer.

Choice has recently tested 38 canned foods (in Australia) including baby food, corn kernels, olive oil, pineapple, tomatoes and tuna (among others). Their findings are worrying. Five of the samples contained more than 200 parts per billion (ppb) of BPA and seventeen others contained BPA within the 10ppb - 200ppb range. Even though these are within the European Union’s limit of 600ppb, just one serving of them would give a 70kg adult more BPA than some experts believe to be a safe daily amount. And now for the worst news: three of the highest readings of BPA were from baby food.

In Australia and New Zealand our regulator is Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ). The FSANZ maintain that very low levels of BPA in food do not pose a significant health risk but one serving of the infant food Choice tested would deliver approximately 10% of the infant’s safe exposure limit in one go (as defined by European Food Safety Authority as 50 micrograms per kg of body weight). More alarming is new scientific evidence that suggests the limit of safe exposure should be set much lower.

The Choice research is not alone in its findings. Independent research by the Breast cancer Fund in America has also found harmful levels of BPA in American canned goods. They found that almost half the samples tested had single servings of BPA comparable to levels that laboratory studies have linked to negative health effects.

If you’re worried about the cumulative effect of BPA from the canned foods you are eating, take action by sending an Email to Mr Butler, Australia’s Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing. Tell him you want all foods, especially those for babies and toddlers, to be BPA free.

Next time you shop, choose glass containers over tinned and plastic ones!

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