News / USA

US Senator Warns of Canned Food Dangers

Health study finds high levels of harmful chemical BPA

A new study by a coalition of environmental health groups found that 46 out of 50 cans of food tested positive for high levels of BPA, a chemical used as a protective coating in cans.
A new study by a coalition of environmental health groups found that 46 out of 50 cans of food tested positive for high levels of BPA, a chemical used as a protective coating in cans.
Zulima Palacio

U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein is helping to lead the latest battle against Bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical used as protective coating in canned foods.

The California democrat has introduced legislation that would ban BPA in all food and beverage containers.

High levels of chemical in cans

The move coincides with a new study by a coalition of environmental health groups that finds common canned foods can contain alarming levels of the chemical, which has been linked to health problems

"This BPA leaches," says Feinstein. "It leaches into the food and the food goes into your stomach."

The new study, "No Silver Lining," found that 46 out of 50 cans of food tested positive for high levels of BPA. The chemical is used to prolong the shelf life of canned goods, and is considered safe by food industry supporters.

But Liz Hitchcock, director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, disagrees and is concerned about the impact of BPA on unborn children.

Health concerns

"Just by eating a reasonable amount of food from cans, a pregnant, 20-something woman can ingest BPA at the same levels as it has been shown to cause harm in lab studies," says Hitchcock.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 93 percent of Americans have BPA in their bodies. Besides canned goods, the chemical is also found in many plastics and baby products.

Nancy Buermeyer is with the Breast Cancer Fund.

"There is a great deal of concern not just for breast cancer, but for prostate cancer, diabetes, obesity, learning disabilities and other neurological issues."

The chemical, BPA, is also found in many plastics and baby products.
The chemical, BPA, is also found in many plastics and baby products.

The study examined canned foods from 19 states and included canned fish, fruit, vegetables and soda. Two years ago, Congress reviewed scientific studies warning about the use of BPA in clear plastic containers.  Six states have banned BPA in baby bottles and some products for children.

Opposing view

Feinstein expects to encounter plenty of resistance to her legislation to ban BPA in all food and beverage containers.

"There is going to be a struggle, there are powerful interests that don't want us to pass this bill," she says. "I would suspect they spend millions of dollars on lobbying to dissuade members from voting for this."

One of those interests - the Grocery Manufacturers Association - issued a statement that says BPA is safe and has been used for more than 30 years to improve the quality of foods and beverages. It says the National Workgroup for Safe Markets' report offers no new science.

But the advocacy group says the food industry should stop the unnecessary use of toxic chemicals in food products. Instead, it
recommends greater use of fresh food and safer plastics.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Official Pleased With Ebola Containment Measure

Official says three-day sensitization effort will help reduce infection rate of Ebola disease nationwide More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As the tumult in the Middle East distracts Obama, shifting American focus eastward appears threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid