Just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, when American families get together to unwind, enjoy good company and a good meal, a controversial Harvard report published in JAMA about soup cans with BPA epoxy resin lining tries to throw a wet blanket on one of America’s most cherished traditions. The report follows on the heels of another misleading study targeting popular Thanksgiving canned dishes.
Food packaging with BPA epoxy resin linings — including soup cans, the target of the Harvard study — have done well to protect us from dangerous pathogens like E-coli and botulism for decades on end. Food-borne illnesses would “be rampant” without the BPA coating, North American Metal Packaging Alliance (NAMPA) chairman John Rost told CE&N.
Products like these also have long shelf life, which is essential to feeding large numbers of people in disaster-relief and military operations. Food banks, families on a budget, and others benefit from the extended shelf-life of canned foods made possible by BPA.
A recently released EPA-funded study offers good information about the way our bodies interact with BPA. The study’s results indicated that, because BPA is efficiently metabolized and rapidly excreted in urine, it is very unlikely that BPA could cause health effects. For the “soup study” participants, BPA was detected exactly where health experts expected to find it – in the subjects’ urine – and at levels well within safe limits.
You see, the consensus of major government agencies around the world is that BPA is safe as used in important food-contact applications. It’s why FDA records indicate there hasn’t been an incidence of food-borne illness from a failure in metal packaging in more than 36 years.
Most consumers won’t buy the hype behind these studies. They’ve seen this carefully timed scare tactic before. But for those who are searching for more information on the issue, the North American Metal Packaging Alliance (NAMPA) can help (read NAMPA’s statement here), and so can the Facts About BPA website.