I’m often on the lookout for healthy food that travels well, but I’m terrified of canned foods that contain the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol-A (BPA). Clearly, I’m not alone. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released a new report analyzing which brands are still lining their cans with BPA. While the FDA has failed to regulate BPA despite potential health risks associated with the chemical, including increased risk of brain and heart problems, as well as cancer, obesity and attention deficit disorder, informed consumers are avoiding it. Between January and August last year, EWG surveyed 252 brands produced by 119 companies. They found only 31 brands, or 12 percent of all the brands they sampled, used BPA-free cans for all of their canned products and 34 brands used BPA-free cans for one or more of their canned products. All other brands either use BPA or failed to disclose whether or not they are using it.
The following companies are among EWG’s list of ‘best players’ that exclusively use BPA-free liners in their canned products.
- American Tuna, Inc. American Tuna
- Amy’s Kitchen, Inc. Amy’s
- Annie’s, Inc. Annie’s Homegrown
- Euro-USA Trading Co.,
- Inc. Bionaturae
- Farmer’s Market
- Foods, Inc. Farmer’s Market
- Juanita’s Foods Juanita’s
- Jyoti Natural Foods Jyoti Natural Foods
- King Oscar AS King Oscar
- Lucini Italia Company Lucini Italia
- Raincoast Trading
- Company Raincoast Trading
- Sprouts Farmers Market,
- Inc. Sprouts Farmers Market
- The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.
- Bearitos, Earth’s Best
- Organic, Gluten Free Café (From Health Valley),
- Health Valley, Health Valley
- Organic, Imagine, Walnut
- Acres, Westbrae Natural
- Tyson Foods, Inc. Tyson
Unfortunately, following new reports that BPA alternatives may be as harmful, if not more harmful than BPA, consumers have new reasons to reconsider purchasing canned foods. EWG found that surveyed brands failed to disclose substitutes for the estrogen-mimicking chemicals that is present in the urine of roughly 90 percent of the American population.
Eden Foods is one of the few companies to disclose the contents of their non-cornbased oleoresin liners:
“Eden Organic Beans are packed in steel cans coated with a baked-on oleoresinous c-enamel that does not contain the endocrine disrupter chemical, bisphenol-A (BPA). Oleoresin is a natural mixture of an oil and a resin extracted from various plants, such as pine or balsam fir.”
Researchers from the University of Calgary published a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), which found that both BPA and BPS lead to hyperactivity in zebrafish, which shares 80 percent of human genes.
“I was actually very surprised at our results. This was a very, very, very low dose, so I didn’t think using a dose this low could have any effect,” says Deborah Kurrasch, PhD, a researcher in the University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine.
Kurrasch and other researchers exposed zebrafish embryos to levels of chemicals found in Alberta’s Bow and Oldman rivers. In so doing, they changed the timing of when neurons formed in the zebrafish brains.
“Researchers discovered the number of neurons generated in the developing zebrafish brains increased by 180 per cent compared with unexposed fish,” according to a press release. “They also learned that BPS increased the number of neurons by 240 per cent in similar experiments. The result was a change in behaviour, with the fish demonstrating greater hyperactivity later in life.”