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Consumer Reports says in its December issue that the chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) - controversial because while it has been used in food containers, especially baby cups, for years even though there is some evidence that it may be linked to a variety of cancers, diabetes and heart disease - has been found in 19 name brand foods, including canned foods, including soups, juice, tuna, and green beans that were packaged in containers with BPA.

As a result, the magazine’s parent organization, Consumers Union, has continued its call for manufacturers and government agencies to eliminate the use of BPA in all materials that come into contact with food.

According to the story, “Our tests convey a snapshot of the marketplace and do not provide a general conclusion about the levels of BPA in any particular brand or type of product we tested. Levels in the same products purchased at different times or places or in other brands of similar foods might differ from our test results. Nevertheless, our findings are notable because they indicate the extent of potential exposure: Consumers eating just one serving of the canned vegetable soup we tested would get about double what the FDA now considers typical average dietary daily exposure.”

As reported earlier this week, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will spend $30 million to to study the safety of BPA, while the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reconsidering its previous draft assessment saying that BPA does not pose a health hazard when people are exposed to small amounts; it is scheduled to release its own BPA reassessment later this month.

However, there is an impressive lineup of organizations maintaining that BPA is safe when consumed in small amounts, including the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Authority, Health Canada, the World Health Organization, Health and Consumer Protection Directorate of the European Commission; the European Chemical Bureau of the European Union; the European Scientific Panel on Food Additives, Flavorings, Processing Aids, and Materials in Contact with Food; and the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, as well as the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and the American Chemistry Council.
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