November 3, 2009
YONKERS, N.Y.Almost all of the 19 brands of canned food tested contained measurable levels of Bisphenol A (BPA) in Consumer Reports' latest tests of canned foods. They tested soups, juice, tuna and green beans, and found BPA in some canned foods labeled organic and BPA-free. Consumer Reports' tests of a few comparable products in alternative types of packaging showed lower levels of BPA in most, but not all cases.
Canned Del Monte Fresh Cut Green Beans Blue Lake had the highest amount of BPA for a single sample in the Consumer Reports tests, with levels ranging from 35.9 parts per billion (ppb) to 191 ppb. Progresso Vegetable Soup BPA levels ranged from 67 to 134 ppb. Campbell's Condensed Chicken Noodle Soup had BPA levels ranging from 54.5 to 102 ppb.
Similac Advance Infant Formula liquid concentrate in a can averaged 9 ppb of BPA and Nestle Juicy Juice in a can averaged 9.7 ppb of BPA, but there was no measurable level in the powdered versions of both products.
Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup in plastic packaging contained detectable amounts of BPA, but at levels that were significantly lower than the same brand of soup in the can. StarKist Chunk Light canned tuna averaged 3 ppb of BPA, but BPA levels in the same brand in a plastic pouch weren't measurable. However, in one item tested, the alternative packaging contained higher levels of BPA than the canned version. Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli in Tomato and Meat Sauce packaged in a plastic container with a metal peel-off lid had BPA levels 1.5 times higher than the same brand of food in metal cans.
Samples of Vital Choice's tuna in "BPA-free" cans were found to contain an average of 20 ppb of BPA and those of Eden Baked Beans in "BPA-free" cans averaged 1 ppb BPA.
Federal guidelines currently put the daily upper limit of safe exposure at 50 mg of BPA per kilogram of body weight. However, studies have shown serious health risks could result from much lower doses of BPA. BPA has been linked to a wide array of health effects including reproductive abnormalities, heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes and heart disease.
The results are reported in the December 2009 issue of Consumer Reports Magazine.
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