Consumer Reports finds BPA in a variety of products
November 3, 2009
by Keith Nunes
— Tests of canned foods, including branded soups, juice, tuna and green beans identified the presence of Bisphenol A (B.P.A.), according to an article to be published in the December issue of Consumer Reports, a magazine published by the non-profit organization Consumers Union. The new findings show B.P.A. may be found in a diverse assortment of canned foods including those labeled “organic,” and even in some foods packaged in “B.P.A.-free” cans, according to the magazine.
“The findings are noteworthy because they indicate the extent of potential exposure,” said Urvashi Rangan, director of technical Policy at Consumers Union. “Children eating multiple servings per day of canned foods with B.P.A. levels comparable to the ones we found in some tested products could get a dose of B.P.A. near levels that have caused adverse effects in several animal studies. The lack of any safety margin between the levels that cause harm in animals and those that people could potentially ingest from canned foods has been inadequately addressed by the F.D.A. to date.”
The magazine cautioned its tests convey a snapshot of the marketplace and do not provide a general conclusion about the levels of B.P.A. in any particular brand or type of product tested. Consumer Reports did test three different samples of each canned item for B.P.A.
The highest levels of B.P.A. were found in samples of canned green beans and canned soups, according to the magazine. B.P.A. also was found in samples of infant formula and juices intended for children.
“The B.P.A. levels in our samples of Nestle Juicy Juice, at about 9 p.p.b., were not among the highest in the foods we tested,” Dr. Rangan said. “However, considering how many servings of juice young children may consume daily, a child still could exceed a level that Consumers Union thinks would provide an adequate margin of safety.”
Consumers Union has called on manufacturers and government agencies to act to eliminate the use of B.P.A. in all materials that come in contact with food and beverages. The Food and Drug Administration is soon expected to announce the findings of its most recent reassessment of the safety of B.P.A.