Not in My Chef Boyardee

It seems only fitting that I should be starting to write this post as I sit down to a nice hot bowl of Amy’s minestrone. I was aware of toxics in plastic products (esp. PVC – check out the cartoon “Sam Suds and the Case of PVC, the Poison Plastic”), including some food containers and plastic wraps (even your precious Nalgene bottle), but canned food?? Not cool. I like my canned soup, thanks.

The Environmental Working Group this week released a study that found bisphenol A (BPA) at toxic levels in a number of canned foods, with chicken soup, infant formula, and ravioli among the worst in toxicity. BPA is used in the plastic and resin lining of cans, and it is a known endocrine disruptor, which basically means your body can absorb it thinking it’s a hormone, and throw your system off. The reason it hasn’t been regulated as much as it ought to be is partly because for the longest time, research on toxicity of BPA and other toxics was based on the assumption that if it’s not harmful in high doses, it won’t be harmful in low doses. Problem with that assumption is that while high doses are often detected and taken care of by one’s immune system, low doses often go under the radar in our bodies. BPA in low doses, for example, has been linked to a host of health problems, including breast and prostrate cancer, diabetes, and birth defects.

So really now, with Dow Chemical, DuPont and the like in their pockets, is the NIH really going to be taking care of us?

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