A new BPA study has safety advocates clamoring for a greater look into the exposure to BPA through canned food. Bisphenol A, or BPA is a chemical used to make plastics. It has been found in baby bottles, water bottles, and other plastic containers. BPA is also used in the lining on the inside of metal cans, which gave rise to the recent study. The Senate may debate BPA in a food safety bill early next month.
As WebMD.com reported, BPA has come under intense scrutiny in recent years because beyond being a preservative, it mimics human hormones and is classified as an endocrine disruptor. BPA may pose a particular risk to infants. It is associated with birth risks in labratory animals. The recent BPA study found it in 92% of the cans tested, suggesting that BPA leaches from can linings.
However, the dangers of BPA are disputed by business groups in the grocery industry, who contend that BPA is safe. They contend that it has been used safely for over 30 years. According to the Washington Post, Scott Faber, vice president for federal affairs for the Grocery Manufactures Association, said that the Senate should let the FDA do it's job in regulating chemicals like BPA.
The FDA has investigated BPA and has stated concern about the health effects, including whether it is an endocrine disrupter, but has not moved to restrict BPA. "We trust the FDA to complete a safety assessment for BPA, and we don't think the Senate should short-circuit and undermine the FDA," Faber said.
Senator Dianne Feinstein disagrees. She is sponsoring the proposed bill, calling for banning BPA from food packaging. "I no longer eat food out of cans. I no longer buy cans, I look for jars....It's amazing to me that everybody doesn't jump quick to do this."