For years, parents, advocacy groups, and, well, much of Europe has asserted that BPA (bisphenol A) -- the commonly used food additive in food packaging that mimics human estrogen -- is bad news. And last fall, some of our worst fears were confirmed: Some of the most popular kinds of Campbell's soup had the highest BPA levels in a report released by advocacy group Breast Cancer Fund.
At the time, Campbell's spokesperson said, "The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence shows that the use of BPA in can lining poses no threat to human health." Hrmm. Definitely a questionable response. But, now, we can breathe a sigh of relief. Because it appears that Campbell's is starting to change their tune! They've promised to phase out use of BPA and will make the transition as soon as "feasible alternatives are available."
Well, it's a step in the right direction.
Gretchen Lee Salter, Policy Manager at the Breast Cancer Fund, even describes it as "a victory for consumers who have been demanding this change." And rightfully so! After all, human and animal studies have linked the chemical to scary health concerns like heart disease, early-onset puberty, behavioral problems, diabetes, breast cancer, prostate cancer, especially at low doses. Hello terrifying.
So, fingers crossed that the USDA does the right thing, too. They're supposed to decide by the end of the month whether or not to ban the chemical's use in all food and beverage packaging. Now, that would be a major win for everyone -- especially women.
And if they're still not convinced, maybe the government should take a second look at research that showed how exposure to BPA can enhance the rate of growth and proliferation of existing hormone-sensitive mammary tumors, suggesting multiple mechanisms by which the chemical may trigger breast cancer development. Clearly, this is not something that we want in our food supply. If companies like Campbell's and the fed care at all about consumers' well-being, BPA better be banned ASAP.
Do you believe BPA poses a threat to our health?
Image via Steven Depolo/Flickr