Beware of BPA: New Report Finds Toxic Substance Widespread in Canned Foods

by Mollie Rosenzweig | April 06, 2016

Consumers, take note: Last week, Clean Production Action published a troubling new report, Buyer Beware: Toxic BPA and regrettable substitutes found in the linings of canned food, on the presence of toxic bisphenol-A (BPA) in canned foods. The report, co-written by Breast Cancer Fund, Campaign for Healthier Solutions, Ecology Center, and Mind the Store Campaign, found BPA in the lining of the majority of canned foods sold by major retailers across the United States and Canada.

As the Center for Progressive Reform has discussed before, BPA can leach into food and poses a serious threat to human health. As an endocrine disruptor, BPA mimics estrogen in human bodies, which can ultimately play a role in many health problems, including obesity, diabetes, fertility complications, and some cancers. Its continued presence in can liners is a significant problem that calls out for effective, comprehensive action from federal regulatory agencies.

For the Buyer Beware report, researchers tested 192 cans in total and found that 129 of them, or 67 percent, contained a BPA liner. The selection of cans included major national brands like Campbell's (100 percent of cans tested contained BPA), Del Monte (71 percent), and General Mills (50 percent), as well as private-label brands from stores like Target, Walmart, Kroger, and several dollar store chains.

Encouragingly, researchers found some brands (Amy's Kitchen, Annie's Homegrown, Hain Celestial Group, and ConAgra) that had successfully eliminated BPA from their can linings. Unfortunately, the ...

Keep Government's Hands Off Our Food? Next Time You Read about an Outbreak of Salmonella or E. coli, Thank Jack Kingston (R-GA)

by Rena Steinzor | June 21, 2011
Manic House Republicans voted last Thursday to de-fund the implementation of a landmark law, passed just a few months ago, to strengthen Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authority to police tainted food. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), chairman of the House subcommittee that wrote the agriculture appropriations bill, announced on the House floor that the cuts were justified because the nation's food supply was “99.99 percent safe.”  “Do we believe that McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken and Safeway and Kraft Food and ...

Food Safety Gets a Chance

by Rena Steinzor | December 23, 2010
Salmonella in eggs, peanuts, tomatoes, and spinach; and melamine in pet food and candy imported from China… With a regularity that has become downright terrifying, the food safety system in the United States has given us ample evidence that it has broken down completely. And so, in a small miracle of legislative activism, Democrats in Congress finally mustered the will and the votes to act, passing H.R. 2751 yesterday, not for the first time, but for the second time in the Senate ...

The Human Costs of Pander, Take 2: Obama Budget Shortchanges FDA and Food Safety

by Rena Steinzor | February 01, 2010
As we feared, in an effort to save pitiably small amounts of money in the discretionary (non-military) portion of the budget, President Obama’s FY 2011 budget, announced today, shortchanges very real threats to public health. Case in point: the Food and Drug Administration’s ongoing struggle to improve the safety of the American food supply. (FDA regulates 80 percent of it; USDA regulates the 20 percent that is meat and poultry, and that is, if you’ll pardon, its own kettle of ...

New FDA Database on Food Safety Has Good Potential. The Proof Will be in the Pudding

by Thomas McGarity | September 09, 2009
Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration implemented a 2007 food safety statute by promulgating a rule requiring food manufacturers to report instances of foodborne diseases to an electronic database that the agency has just established (the Reportable Food Registry). This long-awaited database will help epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control, state health agencies and academia identify "clusters" of illnesses that should contribute to a better assessment of the extent and magnitude of the foodborne disease problem in this country. ...

Waxman's Food Safety Bill Would Go a Long Way Toward Fixing Regulatory Failures

by Thomas McGarity | July 02, 2009
On Wednesday, Representative Henry Waxman introduced a comprehensive “Food Safety Enhancement Act” (116-page discussion draft) to repair part of a federal food safety protection regime that has been badly broken for several decades. Waxman was joined by Representatives Diana DeGette, John Dingell, Frank Pallone, Bart Stupak, and Betty Sutton; the House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the issue on Wednesday, June 3. A key problem with the current system is that it employs regulatory tools developed ...

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