Category Archives: bpa

EFSA reports that food is the main source of BPA exposure

FoodFacts.com knows that our community is educated about and very aware of the presence of BPA in plastics and canned food products. BPA (Bisphenol A) is used to make certain plastics and epoxy resins. It’s been used commercially since 1957 and is commonly used in manufacturing water bottles, sports equipment, CDs, DVDs and the lining of water pipes. It’s also used in the production of thermal paper. And it still coats the inside of many food and beverage cans.

BPA has been found to exhibit hormone-like properties at high levels. There has been great concern regarding its use in both consumer products and food packaging. A 2010 FDA report identified possible dangers to fetuses, infants and young children related to BPA exposure. In 2012, the FDA officially banned the use of BPA in baby bottles, sippy cups and infant formula packaging. Since, that time many manufacturers have begun using BPA-free cans, but unfortunately more manufacturers are still using packaging that includes BPA.

Earlier this month, The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reported that its scientific experts have concluded that for all population groups, diet is the major source of exposure to bisphenol A (BPA). EFSA added that consumers’ exposure to BPA is considerably lower than the agency had estimated in 2006—about 30 times lower for infants, and approximately 11 times lower for adults. It was noted that scientists found dietary exposure to BPA to be the highest among children aged three to 10 (explainable by their higher food consumption on a body weight basis). Canned food and non-canned meat and meat products were identified as the major source of BPA exposure for all age groups.

This new report was the EFSA’s first review of BPA exposure since 2006 and the first time that the report covered both dietary and non-dietary sources (including thermal paper and environmental sources).

The American Chemistry Council commented on the new report from the EFSA. The Council stated that this information reaffirms that the levels of BPA exposure from all sources are very low and well within safe levels established by government regulators for infants, children and adults. They reiterate that major government agencies worldwide, including our own FDA, have determined that BPA is safe as it is currently used.

While the EFSA is standing by the safety of BPA and the U.S. FDA has reiterated its safety, many consumers are uncomfortable using food products whose packaging contains the chemical. FoodFacts.com knows that many in our community actively seek out products from brands who have stated that they are now only using BPA-free packaging. Based on the report from the EFSA and the comments from the American Chemistry Council, it does appear that we will have to continue to proactively ensure that the food products we purchase are free of BPA. Government agencies aren’t looking to restrict the use of the chemical any further than they already have. We’ll continue to report on any further developments regarding BPA in our food packaging. In the meantime, our own awareness is our best defense against the chemicals in our food supply we seek to avoid.

http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com/news/efsa-food-is-the-main-source-of-bpa-exposure-for-consumers/
http://www.americanchemistry.com/Media/PressReleasesTranscripts/ACC-news-releases/EFSA-Draft-Opinion-Finds-BPA-Exposure-Levels-Lower-Than-Previously-Reported.html

BPA …it’s even bad for babies before they’re born

FoodFacts.com has been examining a lot of new information on BPA. Bisphenol A has been banned for use in baby bottles and sippy cups here in the U.S., but still remains (unless removed voluntarily) in canned products and other plastics. Regardless of the amount of information being uncovered regarding the negative health impacts of BPA, our country has continued to allow its use in a variety of products.

Today we found more research from the Netherlands that has discovered that the chemical may impact the health of newborn babies.

The study involved the collection of urine samples from pregnant mothers at different stages of their pregnancies. They compared the BPA levels in those samples to their babies growth rate in the womb as well as their developing head circumferences. We know that a small head circumference can imply that a baby’s brain isn’t developing as quickly as it should. A slow rate of growth can lead to a low-birth-weight baby and low-birth-weight babies are more likely to develop delays than those born at a normal weight.

All the women involved in the study had relatively common levels of BPA. However, it was noted that the women showing the highest BPA levels were carrying babies that grew about 20 percent slower in utero than the women who had the lowest levels. The head circumferences of the babies whose mothers showed the highest levels of exposure were also about 11 percent smaller.

BPA is a known endocrine disruptor. It acts like estrogen in the body. It’s been linked to asthma as well as the impairment of neurological development in children. Because its use is so widespread, most people have constant low levels of the chemical in their bodies. Complete avoidance is almost impossible to achieve.

It’s true that the FDA has banned BPA from baby bottles and toddler cups, but this study shows that, in fact, those bans are not protecting our children at all. BPA can actually cause damage to babies while they are still in the womb. And because it’s so difficult to avoid the chemical, babies are really at risk.

While we can’t rid our country of BPA, we can certainly reduce our exposure by eliminating those things we have some control over. FoodFacts.com encourages everyone in our community and those in their networks to purchase canned foods carefully. Manufacturers who have voluntarily eliminated BPA from their canned products are usually very forthcoming about it on their websites and in the news. And when you’re storing beverages or foods, find containers that do not contain the chemical. While we may not be able to avoid BPA completely, we can make enough changes in our households to make sure that we keep levels as low as possible to minimize the dangers we learn more about every day.

Read more here: http://www.rodale.com/bpa-and-pregnancy

New negative effects of BPA … this time on brain development

FoodFacts.com has been following studies on the effects of BPA on the population. We were relieved when it was banned from baby bottles and sippy cups. But it’s still out there, as it hasn’t yet been banned for usage in canned goods and does pose numerous possible dangers. And today, we found more disturbing information that we wanted to share with our community.

In a study from researchers at Duke University, results linked Bisphenol A (BPA) with more potential negative effects. It appears that the chemical may cause a disruption of an important gene responsible for the proper functioning of nerve cells. Based on the findings of this new study, it appears that BPA might impair the development of the central nervous system, leading to the possibility that exposure might predispose animals and humans to neurodevelopmental disorders.

The study was conducted with rodents. They discovered that the rodents exposed to BPA experienced the shut down of a gene necessary for the development of the central nervous system – the Kcc2 gene. The study is published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. If the Kcc2 gene shots down, it cannot produce a protein that is essential to removing chloride from neurons. This is vital for the proper functioning of brain cells. Researchers noted that further research is needed to determine other genes that might be affected by BPA and that this is just a first step in much-needed determinations of how BPA affects brain development.

For the most part our exposure to BPA is through the containers used in packaging foods. Prior research has suggested that BPA is an endocrine disruptor. It affects the way hormones work and can lead to reproductive problems and developmental difficulties. In addition, BPA has been linked to a variety of different health conditions and diseases, among them are diabetes and obesity. BPA is known to mimic estrogen in the body. It was banned from baby bottles and sippy cups here in the U.S. Other food product categories, however, remain unaffected by the ban. France has recently instituted a ban that will require all food product containers to be BPA-free by 2015. And Japanese food manufacturers have voluntarily removed BPA from food product containers. Recent reviews of Japanese products have found no traces of the chemical in canned food and drink and BPA blood levels in the Japanese population have dropped dramatically.

FoodFacts.com is certain that as research into the negative effects of BPA continues, there will be further bans on the chemical worldwide, including here in the United States. While there have been claims in many countries that BPA concentrations in product packaging are low, there has never been any encouraging information regarding its health effects. Let’s all remain vigilant in our efforts to avoid the chemical and add our own voices to those already speaking out against the use of BPA.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/28/bpa-gene-regulation-brain-development_n_2776474.html?utm_hp_ref=health-news&ir=HealthNews

BPA exposure linked to obesity in children in new study

The FoodFacts.com community has always expressed its opposition to the use of BPA in plastics and can liners. There has been a backlash against the use of the chemical by the population which has resulted in its ban for certain uses including baby bottles. And numerous manufacturers have willingly halted their use of BPA, as the voices of consumers have become increasingly clear and apparent.

Now, however, there has been new research undertaken that has actually linked BPA to the likelihood of obesity in children. We know that the whole country has become increasingly concerned about the rise in obesity and that a variety of different approaches to the problem are being realized across the United States. Most recently, New York City has banned the sale of large-sized sugary beverages in certain retail establishments. This move has been met with a plethora of different responses from consumers. But the ban certainly illustrates a growing trend. Obesity is a tremendous problem with implications ranging from rising health care costs to the health and longevity of the population. And now the chemical BPA that can be found in many different food and drink containers has been suggested as a possible link in obesity in children.

The study was authored by Dr. Leonardo Trasande, an associate professor of pediatrics and environmental medicine at the NYU School of Medicine. It found that children and teenagers exposed to high levels of BPA are more likely to be obese.

The study focused on the body mass and urinary BPA of more than 2800 children and teens in the U.S. Sadly, over 92% of the participants showed detectable levels of urinary BPA, and those with the highest levels were over two and a half times more likely to be obese than those with lower levels. This was true even after those kids were controlling their diets and increasing their exercise levels.

Dr. Trasande said, “Clearly bad diet and lack of exercise are the leading contributors to childhood obesity, but this study suggests a significant role for environmental, particularly chemical factors in that epidemic.”

While we can recognize the importance of the FDA’s decision to ban BPA in baby bottles, this study does suggest that this particular ban did not go far enough. BPA is a chemical used in the manufacturing of some plastics and the linings of metal cans. Studies done in the past revealed that the chemical leaches out of the plastic when heated. It has been linked to diabetes, infertility and cancer and now, obesity. Some claim that banning BPA is unreasonable and that there is no conclusive study regarding its harmful effects.

Still, it remains true that over 30 percent of children in the U.S. are overweight or obese. That percentage is three times as high as it was just thirty years ago. Whatever information we can gain that might help us control and reduce this problem should be more than welcome, not only in the medical community, but in the food manufacturing community as well. There are certainly alternatives for manufacturers – BPA is not there only alternative for manufacturing. That would be well illustrated by those companies who have stopped using the chemical in products already.

While we can all recognize that diet and exercise play a key role in obesity, there has been an explosive rise in the incidence of obesity in the population. This study’s suggestions certainly need further investigations. But for FoodFacts.com, these implications strengthen our own resolve that chemicals in our food supply do have consequences.
We invite you to read more: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/plastic-chemical-bpa-linked-childhood-obesity/story?id=17253096#.UFjq0tWdEl0

More incriminating information on BPA

FoodFacts.com is always looking for information for our community regarding controversial food ingredients, but we also keep a close eye out for information on anything controversial affecting our food supply. There’s some new information on BPS that deserves your attention.

Bisphenol-A is a chemical used to make plastics and can lining. It has long raised health concerns in regards to its use in food applications. It’s controversial because it exerts detectable hormone-like properties. BPA is actually a weak endocrine disruptor. It mimics estrogen and has been linked to neurological difficulties in connection with prenatal exposure. Problems with BPA have also been linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer, as well as reproductive and thyroid issues. Canada is the first nation to declare BPA a toxic substance. And recently Europe and the United States have banned its use in baby bottles and sippy cups.

As if the problems BPA is already linked to weren’t enough, we now have a brand new study suggesting that BPA can increase the risk for coronary artery disease. The Metabonomics and Genomics in Coronary Artery Disease study researched the levels of BPA in 951 people suspected of having severe coronary artery disease or a narrowing of the arteries around the heart. They found that BPS levels were higher in those who were actually diagnosed with the disease.

The study’s participants were referred by their doctors to specialists because they exhibited symptoms for coronary artery disease. BPA levels are tested by a simple urine test. Since the chemical is processed quickly by the body, if a person hasn’t been exposed to BPA in a few consecutive days, the urine will be clear of BPA.

Of the 591 people studied, the 385 people diagnosed with severe coronary artery disease had notably higher BPA levels than the participants who did not receive the diagnosis. There were 86 participants who developed coronary artery disease while having no BPA exposure.

While more research is needed, this information is important enough for consumers to limit their use of canned foods, foods packaged in plastics and beverages in plastic bottles. And while the U.S. has banned the use of BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups, young children are still prone to exposure (think plastic water bottles).

FoodFacts.com encourages our community members to be aware of the dangers of BPA and the possible sources of exposure. Keep yourselves and your families safe from this chemical that continually exhibits dangerous effects.  Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/08/16/bpa-may-boost-artery-disease-risk/#ixzz242ieYd9Q

Fighting the use of BPA in canned food products

FoodFacts.com feels strongly that part of our mission is to bring our community information on how they can add their voices to the causes that are meaningful to our health and well-being.

BPA (bisphenol-A) is a chemical used to line the cans that contain a myriad of different food products. It is linked to various cancers, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, early onset puberty and a host of other problems. And notably, many of the products whose cans contain BPA are meant for consumption by children. Spaghetti-O’s, Goldfish Pasta Soup, Spongebob Squarepants Soup are just a few of the products packaged in BPA-containing cans. We’ve covered BPA in previous blog posts.

While you can’t plug BPA or bisphenol-A into the FoodFacts.com database because it isn’t technically a food ingredient, it is leaching out into the food supply. You can check out this article at Huffington Post for more details.

But now we want to ask our community to do their part to convince a major food manufacturer that it’s time to move away from BPA.

Currently www.change.org is featuring a petition targeted to the Campbell’s Soup Company. Campbell’s produces a myriad of products created and marketed to appeal to children — in addition to a host of other canned foods. Follow this link http://www.change.org/petitions/campbells-stop-endangering-kids-health and include your voice in this important petition to send a message to the Campbell’s Soup Company to get the BPA out of their cans.

Follow the link, join the petition, and share this blog post. Let’s help this major manufacturer see the importance of this issue and how it affects children today and for generations to come.

BPA in Children’s Foods

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A major concern among many of our Foodfacts.com followers is bisphenol A , better known as BPA. We’ll try to clear up any questions you may have regarding products containing BPA, and also give you tips and resources on how to avoid exposure.

First, what is BPA?
Bisphenol A is a chemical which is produced and used in large quantities for polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins which are commonly found in cans for food and jar lids.

Why is BPA a concern?
BPA is an endocrine disruptor. Exposure has been linked to a higher risk of prostate and breast cancers, infertility in females, diabetes, obesity, and ADHD.

Where can I find BPA?
A recent report issued by the Breast Cancer Fund showed various levels of BPA in different canned-foods marketed towards children. Note that these products may not be the only items containing BPA. BPA is measured in parts per billion (ppb):

114 ppb – Campbell’s Disney Princess Cool Shapes, Shaped Pasta with Chicken in Chicken Broth
81 ppb – Campbell’s Toy Story Fun Shapes, Shaped Pasta with Chicken in Chicken Broth
39 ppb – Earth’s Best Organic Elmo Noodlemania Soup, USDA Organic
31 ppb – Annie’s Homegrown Cheesy Ravioli, USDA Organic
13 ppb – Campbell’s Spaghettios with Meatballs
20 ppb – Chef Boyardee Whole Grain Pasta, Mini ABC’s & 123′s with Meatballs

Now that you know some of the foods which are exposed to BPA, you can also learn some foods that do not contain this chemical. The easiest way to find out, is to go online and do some research.

We’ve found that Eden Organic, Wild Planet, Trader Joe’s, Eco Fish, Edward & Son’s products do not use this chemical in their packaging. Also, Rubbermaid, Evenflo, and a few other plastic-based companies address that their items are available without BPA. Don’t be surprised if these items are a bit more pricey, because they tend to materials that cost more for each product.

Do your research on BPA!

(Foodfacts.com)

How to Stay Away from BPA!

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Brought to you by Foodfacts.com:

(Huffington Post) The more I know about Bisphenol A, the more I realize what a truly sneaky little substance it is.

First I found out it was leaching into my water from plastic bottles, so I stopped buying bottled water and started filling up from the tap. Then I learned that BPA can enter the body through the coating on register receipts, so I started asking the cashier to trash them for me. And, most recently, I found out that because it coats the inside of cans — even those that contain baby formula — the stuff can sneak into our food, too. (So much for mom’s “homemade” black bean soup.)

In fact, a 2008 study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicated that 93 percent of us have detectable levels of BPA in our bodies at any given time.

Yikes!

Why should we worry? In a nutshell: BPA is an endocrine disruptor that has been linked to cancer, birth defects, brain and nervous system dysfunction, and reproductive abnormalities.

Double yikes.

But now, BPA, your days may be numbered. That’s because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced plans to test you for toxicity and environmental impact, according to UPI. This comes on the heels of a January announcement that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would examine the potential human health effects of BPA in the food supply, and last year’s FDA proclamation that parents should take “reasonable steps” to reduce their infants’ exposure.

That’s good news, because a recent study reported in Endocrine Today linked thyroid disruption to BPA — adding yet another negative impact to an extremely long list of BPA side effects.

The bad news is that those silver bottles we’ve all been filling up — in order to avoid BPA — may actually release up to eight times more BPA than polycarbonate plastic, according to a new study reported by ScienceDirect.

So, what’s a concerned citizen to do? Check with manufacturers to make sure your bottles are made from stainless steel, rather than aluminum lined with epoxy-based resin. Wash your hands after you handle receipts. Limit your intake of canned foods, and look for cans that are “BPA-free.” Then take a look at a series of recipes which doctors say can block the impact of BPA, which we collected for Healthy Child Healthy World’s Eat Healthy section.

Finally, help us urge Campbell’s — one of the largest canned food corporations — to stop using BPA in their cans. Sign our petition telling Campbell’s that BPA is NOT “Mmm mmm good!”

BPA, you’re in our sights. Consider yourself warned.