I’ve been buying Eden canned goods for the last little while, since reading in the Nutrition Action Healthletter that Eden’s cans don’t contain bisphenol A (BPA) –with the exception of their canned tomatoes. But I still have a cupboard full of canned soup, peaches, Zoodles that are probably brimming with the stuff.
As we reported in April, bisphenol A is a suspected hormone disrupter that may alter the normal activity of genes in non-cancerous breast cells so that they act similar to highly-aggressive tumour cells, among other things. Health Canada has already proposed banning polycarbonate baby bottles; developing stringent migration targets for bisphenol A in infant formula cans and working with industry to develop alternative food packaging that will reduce BPA exposure in newborns and infants.
Canada’s Minister of Health, Tony Clement, has said that concerns about the potential migration of bisphenol A from polycarbonate products and epoxy linings of cans into food and beverages aren’t applicable for most Canadians.
It’s certainly true that plastics labelled #1, #2, #4 and #5 are safer than those labelled #3, #6 and #7, based on the evidence to date. But I’m still worried about the canned goods that I’ve been serving my three and five-year-old. Not to mention to my husband and I.
That’s because an exclusive report from The Globe and Mail and CTV reveals that “canned foods sold in Canada contain the estrogen-mimicking chemical bisphenol A at concentrations as much as double the levels that prompted many consumers to shun plastic baby bottles and water bottles.” Furthermore, their tests determined that the highest levels were in food often consumed by children, such as tomato sauce (18.2 parts per billion), tomato juice (14.1 ppb), chicken noodle soup (9.9 ppb) and ravioli (6.2 ppb). Yikes!
“High temperatures used during the canning process to destroy microbes that cause food poisoning also prompt [BPA] to migrate out of its resin,” explains the Globe’s Martin Mittelstaedt. In a separate article, he notes that Japanese beverage makers have already reformulated the lacquers they use to line cans to reduce BPA exposure.
More research is needed, as these tests were conducted privately. But I know what won’t be going into my shopping cart.