JUST RELEASED: Report finds BPA still alarmingly present in canned food

Most canned food is lined with BPA.

Yes, even though the chemical has been linked to breast cancer, infertility, immune problems and more.  Even though it is showing up in people’s bodies. Even though BPA mimics estrogen, interfering with hormones. Even though exposure can have serious effects on the life-long health of infants. Even though we know the chemical can leach into food from can linings.

Does this sound like old news? Well, it is. That’s the shocking part.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 6.30.06 AM

The report shows that canned broth, gravy & milk (including coconut) were most likely to contain BPA.

It’s been five years since OEC and our supporters pushed hard to protect people from bisphenol-A (BPA), a building-block of hard plastic. Thanks to compelling testimony from vigilant parents and health professionals, Multnomah County banned the chemical from baby bottles and sippy cups. Responding to consumer concern, many food companies reassured shoppers that they’d look for alternatives for the lining of cans.

But for OEC and our national partners, words alone are not reassuring. We want evidence. We want commitment.

In fall 2015, we went shopping at a Portland-area Fred Meyer and Albertsons and bought a bag full of canned food at each. We emptied the cans and shipped them off to the lab.

The results? We found BPA. Even companies that have pledged to find alternatives are still selling food lined with epoxy that contains the chemical.

You can read the results of Buyer Beware: Toxic BPA & Regrettable Substitutes in the Linings of Canned Food to learn more about what we found in cans across the nation.

So: what can you do to protect yourself and your family?

You can choose fresh and frozen food over canned. You can look for soups and sauces in glass jars. And you can use your power as a consumer to demand safe food.

We all deserve a shot at a healthy future. We all deserve a chance to make healthy choices. Nobody should be exposed to toxic chemicals that we don’t even know are there.

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5 Replies to "JUST RELEASED: Report finds BPA still alarmingly present in canned food"

  • Darvel Lloyd
    March 30, 2016 (6:05 pm)

    I’m 73 years old. Is opening a can of beans and/or tomato sauce about once a week going to make any difference in my health? Or should I keep all the canned food in my cupboards unopened, just in case the giant subduction earthquake hits?

    • Jen Coleman
      April 1, 2016 (8:44 pm)

      Great question—and great point about the big earthquake! I am not a doctor, but here is what I know from reading the research: BPA is documented most clearly to be harmful to infants—— before birth and to the age of three. In general, people over the age of 65 become more susceptible to environmental pollutants, but I don’t know specifically if this applies to endocrine disruptors. Also, BPA does not build up in the body–so it stands to reason that an occasional “dose” is not as harmful as a steady dose 1-2 times a day. So I can’t tell you what the best plan is, but hopefully that’ll help you make a decision!

  • Scott Griggs
    April 1, 2016 (6:14 pm)

    This is great news if people can use this information, but we can’t effectively use it. WHAT are the brands that HAVE the chemical in them and the ones that do NOT have it? I see the list of percentages that do and don’t but not seeing who they were. This information is essential to know. Where can people find it at? Thanks!

    • Jen Coleman
      April 1, 2016 (8:39 pm)

      Thanks for your question. You can find some answers in the report itself — there’s a link here in the blog. The report has a lot more information on which companies have pledged to go BPA free, which are actually testing as BPA free and so forth. The reason we don’t emphasize “buy this, don’t buy that” is because we don’t have confidence in all of the replacement materials, and it is impossible to tell which cans have replacements and which don’t without testing them. The best advice, unfortunately, is to look for fresh or frozen instead and limit your intake of canned food until the industry does a better job.

  • “We Don’t Want Toxic BPA!” | Oregon Environmental Council
    January 17, 2019 (6:51 pm)

    […] our grocery trip to local Portland-area stores including Fred Meyer back in 2015? It’s hard to forget, now that […]