Campbell’s Soup Company has agreed to stop using BPA in the lining of their soup cans as soon as an alternative becomes available. The company, which sells soups in more than 120 countries worldwide, has been working on BPA alternatives for five years, and officials hope to make the transition soon.
The decision is a timely one, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is set to announce whether to ban the use of BPA in food and beverage packaging altogether by the end of March.
Campbell's soup cans currently contain a potentially harmful chemical called BPA.
Photo by MattHurst/Courtesy Flickr
So, what is BPA, and why do many believe it should be banned?
Bisphenol A (BPA) has been a popular chemical in the manufacturing industry since the 1960s. Specifically, it is used in many hard plastic food containers, such as reusable cups and baby bottles, and in the lining of metal beverage and food cans, such as Campbell’s soup cans. Oftentimes, BPA can be found in the food inside these containers. In fact, in previous studies, researchers have found BPA in the urine of 93 percent of Americans tested.
Although the chemical was previously thought to be safe, the FDA is taking a closer look at the risks involved with BPA exposure. Experts at the National Toxicology Program at the Department of Health and Human Services have voiced concerns in the past about what the chemical can do to brain function of young children. In addition, numerous studies have been published to link BPA to chronic health conditions, such as cancer, hyperactivity and heart disease.
While the future of BPA in our products is unclear, there are many precautions you can take to protect you and your family. Here are a few tips from the folks at the Mayo Clinic:
• Seek out BPA-free products. A few U.S. brands that package products without using BPA include Eden Foods, Muir Glen, Edward & Son, Trader Joe's, Vital Choice, Wild Planet Foods, Oregon's Choice Gourmet and Eco Fish.
• Microwave responsibly. Do not microwave polycarbonate plastics, as the plastics may break down during the years, possibly causing BPA to seep into your food.
• Wash safely. Do not wash polycarbonate plastics in the dishwasher with harsh detergents.
• Cut back on cans. Rather than purchasing canned foods and beverages that may be packaged with BPA-containing resin, cook homemade dishes, and store them in glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers.
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