From Proposition 65 to activist reports, recent activities related to epoxy can linings made from BPA have dialed up a flurry of news coverage lately. In response to consumer interest, and as a reaction to pressure from activist groups, some food brands are announcing that they are moving away from these can linings and using a variety of alternatives. Ironically, the announcements note that epoxy can linings have performed almost flawlessly for 40 years and that FDA has re-affirmed the safety of BPA.
With all the alarming media attention, brand reputation (and not science) understandably drives these decisions. But it is a scientific fact that exposure to BPA from canned food, and all other sources combined, is very low, and well within safety standards. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, typical human exposure to BPA is far below even the most stringent science-based safety limit set by government bodies worldwide.
BPA linings in cans serve an important role in food safety as well. Epoxy linings create a protective barrier in metal containers to prevent canned foods from becoming spoiled or contaminated with bacteria or rust.
But how do we know canned food with BPA is safe? In the last several years, federal government scientists have been conducting in-depth studies to answer key questions about the safety of BPA. To date, more than 20 of these studies have been published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. The results clearly show that:
- Consumer exposure to BPA is extremely low.
- BPA is rapidly eliminated from the body.
- No risk of health effects at typical consumer exposure levels.
The comprehensive data now available provides a compelling reason to listen to the science on the safety of BPA. If you do, you won’t be alone. Most recently, South Korea’s scientific experts from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety did just that in a recently published assessment. In their words, “there are no health concerns for the general Korean population” from exposure to BPA.