TORONTO – As new research this week reveals dangerous levels of the toxic chemical Bisphenol A in canned food, Environmental Defence is calling for a ban on the chemical in Canada.
“The research on Bisphenol A is telling us two things: One, that it is toxic, and two, that is in a wide range of foods we eat, at disturbing levels” said Dr. Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence. “The case for a federal ban on this chemical has never been stronger.”
Testing released this week by the Washington, DC-based Environmental Working Group (EWG) showed high levels of Bisphenol A (BPA) are common in canned food, including infant formula, ravioli and chicken soup. According to the report, “For 1 in 10 cans of all food tested, and 1 in 3 cans of infant formula, a single serving contained enough BPA to expose a woman or infant to BPA levels more than 200 times the government’s traditional safe level of exposure for industrial chemicals.”
In addition to the inside linings of food cans, Bisphenol A can be found in water bottles, adhesives, pipes, thermal fax paper, car dashboards and electronic goods. More than 130 peer-reviewed studies have found Bisphenol A to be toxic at low doses, some similar to the levels found in humans. Health risks of the substance include prostate and breast cancer, immune system dysfunction, early puberty in females, and higher rates of miscarriage.
Under the federal government’s recently announced Chemicals Management Plan, Bisphenol A is part of a batch of substances that, starting in May 2007, industry will be asked to provide data on. Based on this data, the government will decide within a year whether to regulate the chemical. A government assessment has found Bisphenol A to be both inherently toxic and high-potential for exposure to Canadians. For such chemicals, Environment Canada has indicated that their preference is to regulate them unless evidence shows this to be unnecessary.
Even if the government decides to regulate Bisphenol A under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, it could still take more than 3 years before limits on the chemical are in place. Environmental Defence calls for early action on the chemical, demanding a phase out of no more than one year.
– 30 –
For more information, contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)
The EWG report on Bisphenol A is available at http://www.ewg.org/reports/bisphenola/