BPA, Industrial Chemical, Found in Kids' Canned Foods

Campbells Disney Princess Cool Shapes pasta, whose cans were found to have excessive levels of the industrial chemical BPA in a study by the Breast Cancer Fund.

BPA, an industrial chemical with suspected links to cancer, has been found in large quantities inside American kids' canned soups and pasta, the Breast Cancer Fund said Wednesday.

The non-profit advocacy group, which focuses on environmental causes of cancer, carried out a product testing report.

They detected an average of 49 parts per billion of BPA, or bisphenol A, in a dozen cans of food items tested.

"Every food sample tested positive for BPA," with Campbell's Disney Princess and Toy Story soups testing the highest," said the group, reports AFP.

They are now pressuring canned food producers to embrace alternatives to BPA, which is best known as a hardening agent in plastic bottles.

BPA is also commonly used to line the inside of metal cans, but a host of scientific studies have pointed to a possible link with cancer and other illnesses.

Earlier this year, the European Union banned the use of BPA in the manufacture of baby bottles. Its use in infant food containers is also restricted in Canada as well as 10 US states.

"We're concerned about BPA because it disrupts the body's delicate hormonal system," Gretchen Lee Salter, the Breast Cancer Fund’s policy manager, told AFP.

"There's a toxic chemical in our canned foods marketed to children, and it doesn't belong there,” she said. In its tests, the group found levels of BPA totaling 148 ppb in a can of Campbell's Disney Princess Cool Shapes shaped pasta with chicken and chicken broth. 10 ppb of the chemical were detected in a can of Campbell's SpaghettiOs with meatballs. Earth's Best, Annie's Homegrown and Chef Boyardee products were also tested, with eight of the 12 cans found to have BPA levels in excess of the 49 ppb average. The reason for such a wide variation between the cans tested was unclear, or why cans bought in California were liable to have higher BPA levels than those from Wisconsin. But Salter said that previous laboratory experiments have indicated that some foodstuffs tend to provoke greater toxic leeching from BPA packaging than others. In the interim, the Breast Cancer Fund is urging parents to avoid canned foods and instead feed their kids dry or frozen pasta, fruit, or soup packaged in paper-based containers, AFP reports.
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