The North American Metal Packaging Alliance (NAMPA) says it is “critically important” that consumers don't overestimate the importance of a “small survey of canned soups” reporting the presence of chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in foods.
Referring to a recent research letter published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), NAMPA chairman Dr. John M.Rost said: “The presence of bisphenol A (BPA) as reported by this study gives consumers no new information about health effects from BPA exposure from canned foods.”
Rost added that the presence of BPA in urine did not indicate a health risk, but instead confirmed to consumers that BPA was quickly excreted from the body via urine.
He added: “The BPA exposure levels cited are not surprising, and are consistent with similar surveys of packaged food conducted within the past year by international government agencies, including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada.
“These government regulatory authorities, which are much more familiar with the benefits of epoxy resins and the limitations of alternatives for most canned goods, have consistently concluded that current exposures through canned foods do not pose a health risk to consumers, including newborns and infants.”
‘Compelling’ BPA evidence
Rost also cited a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) funded study as “compelling evidence” that BPA was unlikely to cause human health effects, given that even at its highest exposure levels, BPA in canned food and beverages did not lead to detectable amounts in the human blood stream, and BPA concentrations were found to be less than or equal to detection limits in all samples.
The June 2011 study by Teeguarden et al . published in Toxicological Sciences found that, despite high dietary exposures, total BPA concentrations in blood serum of 20 adult volunteers was undetectable in 83 per cent of 320 samples collected.
Consumers should also remember that BPA-based epoxy coatings kept food safe by allowing high-temperature sterilisation, thus cutting out the risk of food poisoning and maintaining can integrity, Rost added.
Following a recent American Chemistry Council (ACC) call that US federal authorities ban the use of BPA in baby bottles, the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission (EC) has published the first part of a monitoring study on the potential release of BPA (or a mixture of bisphenol S and two other sulphone compounds) into baby bottles.
JRC polycarbonate tests
Use of BPA in polycarbonate bottles has been banned in the EU since March, but the JRC analysed 40 such for release of BPA, while 30 polyethersulphone bottles were analysed on the basis of potential bisphenol S and sulphone compound release.
Migration tests found results consistent with a Spanish monitoring study on BPA migration from polycarbonate bottles by Santillana et al. published in late October, with only 20 per cent of samples releasing BPA, and only in trace amounts in the first migration run.
According to the JRC: “Only one bottle out of 40 showed low release also in the second and third run. This confirms that the likelihood of migration of bisphenol A from polycarbonate baby bottles is very low and remains at very minute amounts.”