On June 3, 2015 the news provider Environmental Health News published an article reporting on a survey on bisphenol A (BPA) in food cans. The comprehensive survey, conducted and published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), analyzed 252 canned food brands from 119 companies. BPA is commonly used in epoxy linings of cans. All tested metal cans were from the U.S. market and included steel and steel-tin cans, but excluded aluminum beverage containers. A total of 31 brands (12%) used BPA-free cans for all their products. In contrast, 78 brands (31%) completely rely on BPA linings. 34 brands (14%) used BPA-free cans for one or more of their canned products. The remaining 109 (46%) brands provided no, ambiguous or incomplete information about their use of BPA. It was stated in the summary of the survey that it was difficult to obtain further details about the alternative coatings used by some companies. According to EWG this lack of information may slow down scientific study of the possible hazards of these substitute materials. EWG called for regulatory guidance and transparency to protect and inform the consumers about truly BPA-free cans.
Both the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have recently reaffirmed that BPA is safe for food contact applications, but the use of BPA in food contact articles is prohibited in France since January 1, 2015. A similar study was published recently for the Spanish market (FPF reported).
Brian Bienkowski (June 3, 2015). “Survey of canned-good brands finds hormone-mimicking compound still widely used.” Environmental Health News
EWG (June 3, 2015). “BPA in canned food: executive summary.”
EWG (May 2015). “BPA in canned food: behind the brand curtain.” (pdf)
Joe Whitworth (June 3, 2015). “BPA substitutes in canned food ‘not clear’ – EWG.” Food Production Daily
North American Metal Packaging Alliance (June 3, 2015). “EWG Report on Canned Food Adds Little to Debate over Food Safety.” (pdf)