You may be doing a great job of minimizing your family's daily expsore to BPA, but one nonprofit organization is warning that your traditional Thanksgiving dinner may be loaded with the chemical.
The Breast Cancer Fund, an environmental health advocacy group, wanted to know how much BPA could be in a typical Thanksgiving meal, so the organization tested canned foods used to make popular Thanksgiving dishes: turkey gravy; creamed corn; cranberry sauce; pumpkin and evaporated milk (for pie); and green beans and cream of mushroom soup (for green bean casserole). The results of these tests were released today.
The report, BPA in Thanksgiving Canned Food, tested Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, Campbell's Turkey Gravy, Carnation Evaporated Milk (by Nestle), Del Monte Fresh Cut Sweet Corn (Cream Style), Green Giant Cut Green Beans (by General Mills), Libby's Pumpkin (by Nestle), and Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce.
Single servings of almost half of the products tested had levels of BPA comparable to levels that laboratory studies have linked to adverse health effects. In contrast, there was no BPA detected in any of the cans of Ocean Spray Cranberry Sauce. You can see the results of all the product testing here.
There was also a lot of variability in the sampling — meaning the same product made by the same company often yielded different results. For instance, BPA levels in Del Monte creamed corn ranged from non-detectable to 221 parts per billion (ppb), and levels in Campbell's Turkey Gravy ranged from 5 to 125 ppb.
The report was released as part of the Breast Cancer Fund's Cans Not Cancer campaign to get BPA out of canned foods. The goal of the campaign is to convince canned food manufacturers to replace BPA in their cans with a safer alternative. BPA is an estrogen-mimicking chemical that has been linked to breast cancer as well as a number of other ailments. The chemical is commonly used in the lining of canned food products.
How can you make sure there is no BPA in your turkey dinner? The best advice is to steer clear of canned foods. Fresh or frozen is the way to go with veggies, or look for foods stored in glass jars instead of metal cans.