Study Finds High Levels of BPA In Canned Kids Food

by Amy McCarthy

Recent testing conducted by the Breast Cancer Fund suggests that some Campbell's Soup varieties could have troubling levels of Bisphenol-A. 

Bisphenol-A, or BPA,  is a commonly used chemical in the production of polyurethane andother plastics. The chemical is often found in canned goods, plastic bags, and plastic water bottles. Concern about the chemical's effects began to rise in 2008 after several governments issued reports that raised concerns about the chemical's health effects. 

BPA is classified as an endocrine disruptor, meaning that it can mimic the body's hormones and potentially cause health problems. In 2010, the World Health Organization convened a summit to produce a report on the potentially hazardous effects of BPA. The panel found that while most BPA exposure does occur from food products, it doesn't accumulate in the body. 

The Breast Cancer Fund, though, believes that there is still a cause for concern. In the report, they cite a number of studies that have found connections between BPA exposure and breast and prostate cancer, infertility, early puberty in girls, type-2 diabetes, obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. 

"There should be no place for toxic chemicals linked to breast cancer and other serious health problems in our children's food," said Jeanne Rizzo, president and CEO of the Breast Cancer Fund. For the report, titled "BPA in Kids Canned Food," the Fund tested a number of canned foods that were marketed to children, including products from Campbell's Soup, Chef Boyardee, Earth's Best, and Annie's Homegrown. 

"In all of these products - but particularly in the Campbell's Disney Princess and Toy Story soups - a child-sized serving could result in BPA exposure at a level of concern," said Gretchen Lee Salter, Policy Manager at the Breast Cancer Fund. "Consider the number of servings of canned foods—soups, pastas, vegetables, fruits—that a child eats in a week, in a year, and then throughout her developing years, and you start to see the urgency of getting BPA out of food cans." 

Campbell's Soup spokesman Anthony Sanzio told ABC News' Katie Moisse "The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence shows that the use of BPA in can lining poses no threat to human health," Sanzio went on to say, "That being said, we understand that consumers may have concerns about it. We're very aware of the debate and we're watching it intently." 

The Breast Cancer Fund's report also offered these solutions for families seeking to avoid BPA in their food products: 

- Purchasing dry or frozen pasta instead of the canned varieties. 

- Boxed macaroni and cheese can be an alternative to other quick-prep canned foods.

- Soups can be purchased in Tetra-paks, which are made from paperboard, aluminum foil, and BPA-free LDPE (low-density polyurethane)

- Frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables are a tasty alternative to their canned counterparts. 

You can read the full report and the individual BPA levels of all products tested here.