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BPA Present In Most Canned Foods Can Alter Your Hormones

Canned food eaters watchout: The inside of your can might be sprayed with a synthetic sex hormone, BPA

Published
India
3 min read
Before you reach for canned foods, read what’s really inside them (Photo: iStock)

Maggi might be off the shelves but are you sure it is the only toxic food in your kitchen?

Canned food eaters, here’s a heads up: Notice the lining inside the can you open? Believe it or not, there is a very high chance that lining is made from a synthetic estrogen. That’s right, a sex hormone!  A research by the Environmental Working Group on 252 most popular brands of canned foods found high levels of BPA (or bisphenol A) in 75% of them and it tends to leach in your food at a very high rate.

Only one-fourth of the 252 brands surveyed by EWG use BPA-free cans for all products (Photo: iStock)
Only one-fourth of the 252 brands surveyed by EWG use BPA-free cans for all products (Photo: iStock)

BPA: What Can It Do and Why Is It Used?

Even if there is a-trillionth per gram BPA in your food, it can alter the way your cells function, increase your chances of breast cancer, damage your brain lining, cause infertility in men and heart diseases. And the US FDA has still not banned it.

BPA was used as an estrogen drug till the 1930s. Then in the 1950s some chemists in the USA found that they could link this chemical together and create a glass like plastic. And now this glass like plastic is sprayed into cans you buy. It protects the metal from corroding and prevents the growth of bacteria in foods. The only problem is that this plastic is made from a sex hormone! And it is in 3/4ths of the cans you buy. BPA intake is a big health problem because it leaches into the food you eat.

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Why Is the Canning Industry Still Not BPA-Free?

BPA has been banned from children’s products like sippy cups and bottles but some plastics used to replace BPA were also found to contain dangerous estrogenic chemicals (Photo: iStock)
BPA has been banned from children’s products like sippy cups and bottles but some plastics used to replace BPA were also found to contain dangerous estrogenic chemicals (Photo: iStock)

BPA is big business for the canned foods industry. It is estimated that chemical companies are making 7 billion pounds of it per year and it’s making its way into your bodies through canned foods.

Even though a majority of countries worldwide have guidelines for BPA-free plastic baby bottles, the US FDA has still not banned it entirely and that’s why manufacturers are not required to label BPA free.

Another big issue is the lack of transparency in the canning industry. According to the report, the products that are labelled BPA-free offer only a “vague description” of what substitutes BPA.

These dodgy practices are troubling because some health experts say early evidence suggests that some alternatives like Bisphenol S and F, known as BPS and BPF, may have similar negative effects on the human body.

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What You Can Do

If you want to check whether your can is laced with toxics or not, check here.

BPA-free doesn’t always mean safe (Photo: iStock)
BPA-free doesn’t always mean safe (Photo: iStock)

This research has tested only a small sample of 252 popular food cans. It did not test the soft drinks, beer cans or the commonly used plastic bottles.

So while our FDA is on a Maggi testing spree, perhaps it would be a good idea to go after the plastics and cans as well. And till that happens, why not stick to shudh ghar ka khana to avoid lethal chemicals?

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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