In an article published on October 4, 2016 the Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals informed about a testing campaign analyzing 13 metal packaging containers of tuna in oil or water as well as the metal closure of one glass jar of tuna in oil for certain chemicals. The coatings on the inside of the tuna cans and on the inside of the glass jar lid were tested for bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7), bisphenol F (BPF, CAS 620-92-8), bisphenol S (BPS, CAS 80-09-1), and bisphenol A diglycidyl ether (BADGE, CAS 1675-54-3). None of the 13 tested tuna metal packaging cans nor the lid of the tuna glass jar contained BPA, BPF, or BPS in measurable quantities, the Consumer Council reports. In five tuna can coatings contents of BADGE were measured; quantities were such that even assuming complete migration into food, levels would be below the current European limit value (9 mg/kg food; EU 1895/2005). The Consumer Council notes that far less is known about BADGE than about BPA. The Danish Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently assessing whether BADGE is a potential endocrine disruptor like BPA. The inside of the lid of the tuna glass jar was further tested for phthalates and other plasticizers. The lid contained traces of diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP, CAS 117-81-7) and larger amounts of acetyltributylcitrate (ATBC, CAS 77-90-7), the Consumer Council reports. The tuna in the glass jar was also tested for content of ATBC and the measured levels were “just around the current threshold limit value for the release of ATBC to foodstuff (60 mg/kg),“ the Consumer Council explains.
All 14 tuna products was tested for cadmium, lead, and mercury in fish. All 14 samples contained detectable levels of cadmium and mercury, however the measured amounts were below the current European limit values. The Consumer Council indicates that for some of the tuna products the fish was also tested for presence of the mentioned bisphenols and BADGE. Where BADGE was found in the cans, it was “in some cases also in the tuna.”
It is noteworthy that the detection of a substance in a food product does not render any information about its source, meaning that BADGE or ATBC measured in the tuna could have originated from the packaging or from other sources, like processing, storage, or filling equipment.
Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals (October 4, 2016). “Test: Chemicals in canned tuna.”
Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals (August 2, 2016). “Test: Kemi i tun på dåse.” (in Danish)