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Just when you thought the BPA battle couldn’t get any more frustrating… Consumer Reports just published a study where they found BPA in food from nearly all cans tested – including those marked “BPA-Free.” Grrrrr.

According to the release:

“Consumer Reports' latest tests of canned foods, including soups, juice, tuna, and green beans, have found that almost all of the 19 name-brand foods we tested contain some BPA. The canned organic foods we tested did not always have lower BPA levels than nonorganic brands of similar foods analyzed. We even found the chemical in some products in cans that were labeled "BPA-free."

The debate revolves around just what is a safe level of the chemical to ingest and whether it should be in contact with food. Federal guidelines currently put the daily upper limit of safe exposure at 50 micrograms of BPA per kilogram of body weight. But that level is based on experiments done in the 1980s rather than hundreds of more recent animal and laboratory studies indicating serious health risks could result from much lower doses of BPA.”

Consumer’s Union, the non-profit organization behind the publication, immediately wrote the FDA and urged for tighter regulations. Not surprisingly, the American Chemistry Council, which represents BPA-makers, is highly critical of the report for being “inconsistent with findings of regulatory bodies all over the world.”

Meg Kissinger of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel summarizes the ACC statement:

"Eleven global regulatory bodies - including the European Food Safety Authority and Health Canada - have recently completed scientific evaluations and found BPA safe in food-contact products, including canned foods and beverages," said Steven Hentges, the group's chief lobbyist.

He noted that a study funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and published last week in the journal Toxicological Sciences found that exposure to BPA - including very low doses - had no effects on a range of reproductive and behavioral activities measured.

Interestingly, critics of this new study say it was rejected by a more prestigious journal (Biology of Reproduction) and endocrinologists ravaged the manuscript. One of the authors of the original manuscript withdrew his name after seeing the reviews from the endocrinologists.

Perhaps the biggest flaw in the study? The strain of rat used was at least 2500 times less sensitive to estrogens than other animal models. No wonder it didn’t respond to BPA.

Other BPA news:

Jeremiah McNichols from Z Recommends recently published an exclusive report that provided extensive evidence that Gaiam water bottles previously marketed as "BPA-free" were likely to contain the endocrine-disrupting chemical bisphenol-A. Shortly afterwards, the company quietly added information to its retail website which admits to independent lab test results showing leaching levels at 23.8 parts per billion. These findings are more than ten times the detection limit SIGG said revealed no leaching from their own bottles and over 18 times more than the leaching levels found in independent testing of SIGG bottles shared with ZRecs by an anonymous source.

Liz Szabo from USA Today writes: “The National Institutes of Health will devote $30 million to study the safety of bisphenol A, or BPA, an estrogen-like chemical used in many plastics, including sippy cups and the linings of metal cans. According to the NIEHS, animals studies link BPA with infertility, weight gain, behavioral changes, early onset puberty, prostate and breast cancer and diabetes. New research will focus on low-dose exposures to BPA and effects on behavior, obesity, diabetes, reproductive disorders, asthma, cardiovascular diseases and various cancers. Researchers will also see if the effects of BPA exposure can be passed from parents to their children.”

Learn more about BPA and how to reduce your exposure.

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