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Canned food danger?

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May 18, 2010

Bisphenol-A, or BPA, the chemical most widely found in plastic water and baby bottles has now been found in canned goods.

A new study by a coalition of U.S. public health and environmental groups tested 50 cans and found 92 percent had BPA in them.

This year the FDA warned about exposure of the chemical to fetuses, infants and young children.

Other recent studies have agreed; linking BPA to cancer, diabetes and obesity in tests on lab animals.

This study looked at sample meals and how they might affect a pregnant woman in her 20s. By drinking one can of soda at dinner, along with a single serving of canned green beans, she would digest the amount of BPA found to cause health problems in animals.

"We should not set a place for bisphenol A at the dinner table," said Liz Hitchcock of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

BPA is in cans to protect against metal corrosion or bacterial contamination.

An industry trade group criticizes the study saying, "...The report's recommendation to forgo canned goods sacrifices a technology that has prevented food-borne illnesses for more than 30 years."

And the Chemical Industry Council points out: "Recent reviews of the science have continued to support the safe use of BPA in food contact applications."

Alternatives to BPA are already being used by some companies in their canned goods and glass and less toxic plastic are also safer substitutions.

But California Senator Diane Feinstein wants more.

"We've introduced a bill that would essentially ban BPA," said Feinstein, D-California.

Meanwhile, the report recommends buying fresh dried or frozen foods whenever possible.

Click here to see the report.

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