Opening a can of soup on a cold winter day is a time-honored tradition in America. It may also prove harmful to your health, according to a new study. In the study released by Consumer Reports, canned soup, tuna, juice and green beans have all been found to contain potentially dangerous levels of bisphenol A, a man-made chemical preservative that increases shelf-life. Hundreds of scientific, peer-reviewed studies have suggested health risks from exposure to the chemical, known as BPA, including increased incidence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, liver disorders, and breast cancer, Consumer Reports said.
“Just one or a few servings of these products is enough to take you to a level of concern, in which the scientific literature shows similar levels causing problems in animals,” says Urvashi Rangan, a senior scientist at Consumer Reports who was involved in analyzing the data.
The highest concentrations of BPA that Consumer Reports measured were in canned Del Monte green beans. The magazine even discovered BPA in the canned version of Similac Advance infant formula.
Anthony Sanzio, a spokesman for Campbell’s, whose products were found to have high concentrations of BPA, took issue with the notion that the BPA used to line the cans of his company’s signature product is in any way unsafe. “Every leading regulatory agency in the world has concluded that BPA is safe,” Sanzio said. “We use BPA to protect what’s inside the can, and ensure safety.”
According to Consumer Reports, however, a 165-pound adult who ate one serving of canned green beans would exceed by about 80 times what the magazine’s experts considered an acceptable daily amount of BPA. Children who ate multiple daily servings of foods found to have high levels of BPA would approach levels found to have done harm in animals, the report said.
Current federal guidelines, which Consumer Reports believes are based on inaccurate science, limit exposure of BPA to 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight.