After significant pressure from environmental and health organization, the FDA has finally reversed it's position on the health impact of BPA or BisPhenol-A. Nothing moves as slowly as the FDA does, well maybe molasses in January, but nothing else. BPA is used as a plastic hardener and is found lining food/soda cans and in #3 and #7 plastic containers. Studies have shown that BPA is related to cancers, obesity, heart disease and diabetes and has been know to be highly estrogenic since the 1930's. The FDA's reversal of position is, according to them, because "They have new evidence that makes them worried, but they don't have enough proof to justify pulling the stuff, so what do you do?" said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. "You want to warn people, but you don't want to create panic."
Of course, WE all know this is OLD news. Maybe the FDA has just gotten wind of the toxicity of BPA but there have been countless articles and studies on the toxicity of BPA for years, especially in the past 2 years. So, maybe new evidence to the FDA means new to them because their antiquated computers aren't hooked up to the internet, but this is in no way NEW. The FDA's previous stance on the safety of BPA relied heavily on 2 studies (funded by the chemical companies that make BPA). Canada banned BPA in baby bottles in 2008 and major retailers like Toys R Us eliminated from their stock all baby bottles that contained BPA that same year. Currently, BPA is approved as a food additive and manufacturers are not required to tell the FDA which foods contain BPA. Here is a link published by the Health and Human Services on how to minimize BPA exposure in your children. The Environmental Working Group's test results of foods tested found:
- Of all foods tested, chicken soup, infant formula, and ravioli had BPA levels of highest concern. Just one to three servings of foods with these concentrations could expose a woman or child to BPA at levels that caused serious adverse effects in animal tests.
- For 1 in 10 cans of all food tested, and 1 in 3 cans of infant formula, a single serving contained enough BPA to expose a woman or infant to BPA levels more than 200 times the government's traditional safe level of exposure for industrial chemicals. The government typically mandates a 1,000- to 3,000-fold margin of safety between human exposures and levels found to harm lab animals, but these servings contained levels of BPA less than 5 times lower than doses that harmed lab animals.
CBS News did a very interesting quick and dirty test to illustrate the ease of getting BPA in our diet, as well as how easy it is to reduce your over-all body load. A reporter ate a tuna sandwich which has been known to contain high amounts of BPA and had her blood drawn. After 2 days of avoiding plastics and other known sources of BPA her blood was tested again. The results were astounding. After her BPA-tuna sandwich her BPA levels were 5 times that of the average woman and 2 days later her levels were much lower than average. It has been found that 90% of American women have some level of BPA in their system. BPA has been known to lead to early puberty in boys and girls, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancers. BPA is found in the plastic lining of many canned foods, particularly acidic foods such as tomatoes. Tuna, as demonstrated, has high BPA contents, not to mention mercury. Find out how much tuna you can safely take in on a weekly basis by reading about our tuna calculator.
If you are trying to watch your weight, prevent heart disease, diabetes and cancer I suggest removal of all BPA containing products from your diet. Try to store most things in glass containers and minimize the usage of canned foods.