Children exposed to BPA, found in canned food and marketed to kids

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The Breast Cancer Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding and eliminating environmental causes of breast cancer, announced today that BPA, or bisphenol A, has been found in six popular canned foods marketed to children. BPA is an estrogenic chemical that has been linked to breast cancer in lab studies.

For the Breast Cancer Fund’s report, researchers analyzed canned products that "were specifically marketed to kids: either ones with pictures of favorite cartoon characters or labels that said something about kids,” said Connie Engel, science education coordinator at the Breast Cancer Fund. “The levels we found in these canned foods were a little higher than those previously found in baby bottles and water bottles.” The six different canned foods the BPA was found in are:

• Earth’s Best Organic Elmo Noodlemania Soup
• Chef Boyardee Whole Grain Pasta, Mini ABCs and 123s with Meatballs
• Campbell’s Toy Story Fun Shapes, Shaped Pasta with Chicken in Chicken Broth
• Campbell’s SPaghettio with Meatballs
• Campbell’s Disney Princess Cool Shapes, Shaped Pasta with Chicken in Chicken Broth
• Annie’s Home Grown Cheesy Ravioli

Each sample that was given for the research contained BPA, and the canned foods that scored the highest were the Campbell’s Toy Story and princess soups.

The Breast Cancer Fund researchers said the amount of BPA contained in each canned food is not dangerous by itself but is worrisome because of the fact that children consume these foods so often, many times every day multiple times.

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"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. "We hope this report will shine a spotlight on this issue and encourage companies to seek safer alternatives to BPA."

BPA is found in many products, including cash-register receipts, dental sealants and even money, and the FDA has long said they don’t know how much BPA it takes to be harmful to a child, even though BPA has been linked to cancer, early puberty and other health problems.

The Food and Drug Administration has said they have, “some concern about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior and prostate glands of fetuses, infants and children.”

In canned food, BPA comes from the resin that is coated on the inside of the cans. The resin is put in the cans to keep toxins and a metallic taste from leaking out of the metal in the can.

Experts say that the good thing about the report is that your children are in all likelihood not ingesting much BPA and that it is generally passed through the system quickly.

“We all have it in our bodies,” said Thomas Burke, a professor and associate dean at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. “But if you stop exposure, the levels go down — a lot faster than some of the pesticides, or lead, or mercury.”

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