Fresh questions emerged Wednesday about the FDA's impartiality as a new study showed that the world’s largest food companies and brands continue to coat metal food cans with bisphenol A (BPA) a chemical that causes breast cancer, reproductive problems, heart disease and a host of other illnesses.
The study is the first of its kind to look deeply into food companies and their products for consumers.
There has been a suspicious lack of data available on specific manufacturers, brands and companies using the chemical, so Environmental Working Group (EWG) took it upon themselves to develop the largest database of companies and products using the toxic chemical.
The findings are nothing short of shocking. “If you go to a store and buy a can, it is likely to have BPA,” said EWG Research Director Renee Sharp, saying that there was “not a lot of information on alternatives” available to consumers.
While numerous countries, such as Canada, the European Union and China have banned BPA use in baby bottles and baby food packaging, less than one-third of the 252 brands surveyed use BPA-free cans for all their products.
Because the FDA refuses to publish a national BPA standard, companies are able to label their products “BPA-free” despite the fact they still contained small amounts of the chemical.
The science linking BPA to harmful health effects has been around for years and is widely acknowledged, similar to the linkage between tobacco smoke and cancer.
Underscoring just how acute the problem is, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently found BPA present in 93% of urine samples it tested. In short, BPA is everywhere in our lives and in our bodies.
While BPA has been showing to alter the brain and nervous system development, in addition to changing reproductive systems, even at low exposures, the FDA has been slow to act.
In 2014 is even reduced its warning on BPA, calling its use “safe at the current levels occurring in foods,” citing “scientific evidence.”
This sudden change of heart went counter to a January 2010 statement announcing that it had “some concern about the potential effects of BPA in the brain, behavior, and prostate glands in fetuses, infants and young children.”
The fact roughly three-quarters of the canned food market contains BPA is shameful and raises serious questions about both the FDA and the big companies putting this toxic chemical into Americans. It also potentially exposes companies to lawsuits if more evidence emerges that the toxic effects were widely known and yet the companies continued to put the chemical into food products.