plastic chemicals and canned products

Canned Food Carries a Hidden Health Risk

The linings of canned food and vegetables may be exposing us to plastic chemicals that pose a serious health threat.

Canned Food Carries a Hidden Health Risk

Ban the can? The lining of food cans may release unhealthy chemicals into your food.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Your can of soup may the last place where you'd expect to find plastic chemicals. But thanks to an epoxy liner commonly used to prevent canned products from reacting to the metal, everything from canned fruit to canned salmon to canned peas is exposed to plastic chemicals for as long as it remains on the shelf. And that could be exposing you to a risk that's been largely ignored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The liner is manufactured with a chemical called
bisphenol A (BPA), which has been linked to a variety of health problems, including hormone disruption, prostate cancer, diabetes, and obesity, as well as aggressive behavior in children. A new analysis by Consumer Reports confirms that BPA that lines cans ends up in the food that we eat.

THE DETAILS: The testers at Consumer Reports purchased three cans each of 19 different food products, including canned soups, vegetables, tuna, and both powdered and liquid baby formula, as well as some products in alternative packaging materials like plastic pouches and boxes. The highest levels of BPA were found in canned green beans and canned soup. A can of Del Monte Fresh Cut Green Beans Blue Lake had 191 parts per billion (ppb) BPA. Progresso Vegetable Soup and Campbell's Condensed Chicken Noodle soup had levels ranging from 54.5 to 134 ppb. Some noncanned products, such as StarKist Chunk Light Tuna packaged in a plastic pouch, had no detectable levels of BPA, while their canned counterparts did. But other products contained BPA even though they weren't packaged in cans: Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup in a plastic container still had detectable levels of BPA, which was suspected as coming from the metal lid. BPA was also detected in one brand of microwave-in-the-bag frozen green beans.

Read more about BPA:
"BPA Free" Products May Still Contain BPA
Common Chemical Linked to a Slew of Health Problems
A Chemical Threat Gains New Urgency
Questionable Chemical Could Seep Into Your Soda
Chemical in Plastics May be Especially Harmful to Women

WHAT IT MEANS: The report's authors noted that their tests were only a "snapshot" of the industry, and weren't intended to skewer particular brands. But the results support the idea that eating canned food exposes us to a chemical that's been gaining more and more attention for its unhealthy effects. "I'd say the number one source, 99 percent of our exposure to BPA, comes in the lining of food cans, dental sealants, and other plastics," says Bruce Lanphear, MD, MPH, professor of health sciences at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia and a researcher of BPA.

Published on: November 10, 2009
Updated on: March 11, 2010

More from our Authors

Look 10 years younger – no dieting no sweating no kidding! Try it FREE for 21 days!

Well I guess BPA is hard to

Well I guess BPA is hard to prevent. Fresh food will always be safer than canned goods and other processed food. I hope they will find a solution that will lower the risk of diseases people could get in canned goods. Kyle Thomas Glasser

poison cans.......

I don't understand how cans can NOW be deadly to us! Why are we all alive? I love some can vegetables, especially can green beans (Del Monte) and Spinach. I'm 61 now. When did they start being bad for you? How many have died because of cans? Where can I find these records Why was the plastic in the cans approved by the FDA in the first place? I'll tell you why I think it was: the FDA is just another government agency who OWES people their vote. That means when it comes time for aproval they vote for the people who have supported them and who pay them. Safety is NEVER involved in a decision they make. We need to totally dump the current FDA and all of their people and make it a mixed group of regular, unbought scientists. Already a large group of scientists are bringing it to public attention that they are FORCED into writing papers that they don't believe in, that aren't true in order for some big business to quickly make millions before too many people start dying and they have to recall it. We NO LONGER run our own country. No one is representing the PEOPLE anymore. We have no say. Let's turn it around. No special interest groups should EVER make a decision, ever be in charge, and that includes any religion. We need to stand up and take our country back.


The FDA is the biggest SCAM for the consumer. They are just another Government bureaucracy that gives a few hundred thousand jobs to people who don't or can't do a damn thing for us except drag out approvals and "overlook" potentially dangerous situations.
My husband is permanently visually impaired because of a "cover up" at the FDA and the FDA's failure to follow through on a doctor who desperately wanted his invention approved; a new laser for performing LASIK surgery. The information was right in the doctor's reports, but these reports weren't submitted timely and omitted pertinent information. The people who should have reviewed the reports failed to look at the information and/or follow through on discrepancies. If the FDA staff had done what they were supposed to, my husband and other's would not have the problems that came about when an unapproved laser was used over and over. The FDA KNEW there was a problem and dropped the ball causing many people to lose their vision or the ability to correct their vision at some time in the future.
When we went to trial, suing the doctor, the FDA refused to turn over documents that would have proved the doctor was using equipment that was not approved and even dangerous on the public. I still suspect that the FDA was in collusion with the doctor and/or covering up for their gross negligence


Download a FREE chapter from The Exercise Cure and learn how to get your daily dose of the world's most effective preventive medicine. Click here for your FREE copy!

Free Newsletter
Sign up for the FREE daily newsletter and get useful tips to keep yourself, your family, and the planet healthy and thriving.

  The Daily Fix
Authoritative reporting on the latest developments in health, food, and the environment

  Maria's Farm Country Kitchen Newsletter
Get cooking tips, learn about healthy living and even raising chickens—Maria does it all!

Your Privacy Policy