Finally, Peer-reviewed Research on BPA Levels in U.S. Foods
It's always heartening to see facts start to catch up to controversy. My colleague Kellyn Betts reports on a new study in Environmental Science & Technology that analyzed a market basket of food products, including canned food, for traces of Bisphenol A. BPA is used as a plasticizer in some food packaging and to make epoxy resins in food cans, and has come under scrutiny for possible health effects, especially on infants and children.
C&EN has covered activist, government, and tradegroup takes on the BPA controversy, as well as efforts taken by chemical makers and food brands to do away with BPA. Recently, a survey by Green Century Capital Management found that canned food manufacturers were making real progress replacing BPA. That's why it's rather surprising to read what is now being called the very first peer-reviewed study to look at how much BPA actually migrates into food sold and consumed in the U.S. This seems like vital data that would be needed to make public policy decisions. One area of controversy, for example, is whether the EPA's recommended limit for BPA consumption is too high. So it's helpful to note that the research suggests a U.S. consumer's possible "body burden" of BPA is below the recommended threshold, but perhaps at or above a threshold where there may be concern.
Canned food was part of a new BPA study. Credit: Melody Voith