House cleaning is like stringing beads with no knot at the end of the thread.

"Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods." -Ezra Taft Benson-

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Bisphenol-A (BPA)---Part II

This post is from a doctor friend.  Good info!

Bisphenol-A (BPA)—Part II

The previous newsletter developed the research, facts and concerns about how the BPA in our food grade products and packages is leaching into our bodies and compromising our health. In particular, since BPA is an endocrine disruptor, we are very concerned about consciously feeding this chemical to our developing children.
Another surprise for many in the group was that our canned sauces, vegetables, tomatoes are usually swimming in BPA when the can is enamel coated with BPA or clear-coated with BPA as a stabilizer. Although many of you are eating more home grown fresh veggies, we rely on some canned products as “staples” in our longer term and winter pantries.  So…consider this:  Most of the cans of tomatoes and tomato sauce are swimming in BPA leached out of the coated enamel and clear cans.  By purchasing the glass jars of tomato sauce when it’s on sale you can eliminate the BPA concern. By home bottling some of your tomato products (sauce, stewed tomatoes, salsa, Mexican Mix etc) you can also eliminate the BPA leaching AND have greater control over what is actually in the jar!
A quick review of major pasta sauces canned in glass shows that tomatoes and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are the top 2 ingredients. So…if you are using commercial sauce in glass bottles you will be avoiding BPA leaching but probably getting the sugar hit to your pancreas.  
Now here’s the rub:  I’m committing to increase my personal home bottling and pressure canning by another 20% this coming summer to significantly reduce the number of enameled cans I’m putting into my family’s food supply
Water Bottles and Sippy Cups:  Plastic water bottles are convenient but, in summer’s heat, dangerous to our health as women, increasing the risk of breast cancer. They are damaging to our children’s endocrine system and we still don’t know the countless other chemicals to which we are exposing ourselves.

Sippy cups are used by toddlers and pre-schoolers and are often gnawed to death by their new teeth. New research shows that when the plastic is “under attack” or “wear” greater traces of Bisphenol-A emerge on teeth and in the saliva. So…these are two eating utensils we want to replace at the earliest opportunity.  Alison in the Bulk Buy Group and author of Health Nut Nation website and blog has been working with MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) to find and obtain safe water bottles and Sippy cups. Here are the links to those excellent articles:
I miss my plastic water bottle with the flip pop-up top. I replaced it about a year ago with a stainless steel wide mouth beverage container that is BPA free with a screw on top. Manufactured by TexSport,
 I havent seen it locally. Its a pain to unscrew the top when youre driving to a fruit pickup in the summer heat but safer nonetheless. I was looking at one in Fred Meyer that had a small flip top on a stainless steel base but the flip top was plastic!
Specifically see Alison’s remarks about Sippy Cups at
Cooking Utensils and BPA:
Janelle did the research. The plastic lids on all Pyrexware are BPA-FREE.  The glass Pyrex bowls with lids are excellent for storing and reheating foods from your fridge. The North Bend and Burlington outlet stores are ready to serve you. Janelle has offered to help pick up a load of pre-ordered and pre-paid Pyrex bowls from the North Bend store and drop them at one or two other locations in order to help us out.
Other Cooking Utensils at Risk of BPA Leakage:
How many of you use a plastic soup ladle for your canning or soup-ladling? Im guilty. With the amount of canning I do every year and making and serving thick soups and chowders several nights a week, I use LOTS of ladles and some of them are plastic.
Ive replaced two of my plastic ladles with stainless steel—both were on sale at Pier 1 Imports on the clearance table for $3 each. The clerk told me that the Stainless Steel doesnt sell well because women want the bright plastic colors. Good deal for us!
During March at Cash N Carry they are selling stainless steel smaller ladles ( 6 oz for $1.85 for au jus broths and 8 oz for $2.15)
You can access Cash and Carrys monthly sales Hot Sheets by heading over to Cash N Carry, clicking on Store Locations and choosing a store. Look to the right to SPECIALS and click on the highlighted title to seek the Hot Sheet Specials for the month.

Olive Oil on sale at Bartell’s Drugs thru 14 March. STAR brand, 17 oz for $3.99. Choose Extra Virgin if possible.  Look for bottles that are clear with no debris resting on the bottom. Store to the rear of your cupboard out of sunlight. Wrap all your precious oils in brown paper wrap with tape to protect in the event of an earthquake.  Bartell’s also has whole grain Barilla Pasta for $.99 per 15 oz package.

Replacing BPA in cans gives food makers fits, Vital Choices found traces in salmon, tuna after switch
SEAFOOD.COM NEWS [Washington Post] by Lyndsey Layton Feb 24, 2010 - Major U.S. food makers are quietly investigating how to rid their containers of bisphenol A, a chemical under scrutiny by federal regulators concerned about links to a range of health problems, including reproductive disorders and cancer.

But they are discovering how complicated it is to remove the chemical, which is in the epoxy linings of nearly every metal can on supermarket shelves and leaches into foods such as soup, liquid baby formula and soda. It is a goal that is taking years to reach, costing millions and proving surprisingly elusive.

Randy Hartnell, whose company, Vital Choice, sells products aimed at health-conscious consumers, switched last year to can linings made without BPA. It was a costly move that he figured would resonate in the niche market that buys his canned wild salmon and low-mercury tuna.

But a recent Consumers Union test detected small amounts of BPA in Vital Choice tuna, raising questions about whether it is possible to clean the food supply of the ubiquitous chemical. The consumer group also found trace amounts of BPA in baked beans made by Eden Foods, the only other U.S. company that says it has switched to BPA-free cans.

'What we're hearing is, the stuff is just omnipresent,' said Hartnell, whose Washington state company has spent as much as $10,000 on lab tests trying to pinpoint the source of BPA in its canned tuna. 'Is it in the cutting board? The gloves that people wear who are working on the fish? Is it in the tuna itself? We don't know. We're trying to figure it out.'

The food industry's efforts began even before the FDA announced last month that it had reversed its position and is concerned about the safety of BPA, which is used in thousands of consumer goods, including compact discs, dental sealants and credit card and ATM receipts. Government studies estimate that the chemical has been found in the urine of more than 90 percent of the population.

Foodmakers started looking for alternatives in 2008, after public pressure spurred manufacturers of plastic baby bottles to voluntarily rid their products of BPA. Several municipalities, Minnesota and Canada banned BPA from baby bottles. And Congress is considering a bill filed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Rep. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., that would ban BPA from baby bottles, sports water bottles, reusable food containers, infant formula liners and food can liners.

But foodmakers say they aren't waiting for legislation or regulation.

'It doesn't matter what FDA says. If consumers decide they don't want BPA, you don't want to be in a can that consumers don't want to buy,' said one source at a major U.S. food company who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Major food companies declined to talk publicly about their efforts to find a replacement for BPA linings. 'We don't have a safe, effective alternative, and that's an unhappy place to be,' the source said. 'No one wants to talk about that.'

Heinz, for instance, says it has switched to BPA-free cans for some products but will not identify them or say what substitute it is using. General Mills, which owns the Progresso and Muir Glen lines of canned products, said it is testing BPA-free cans but would not elaborate. 'We are optimistic that safe and viable alternatives will be identified in time,' said Thomas Forsythe, a company spokesman.

The Environmental Protection Agency has declared the daily safe BPA exposure limit at 50 mg per kilogram of body weight, a level set in the 1980s. A growing body of peer-reviewed research in the past decade has suggested that very low levels below the federal threshold might be responsible for health problems. BPA is a synthetic version of estrogen, and scientists disagree about whether it causes lasting effects by triggering subtle cellular changes.

John M. Rost, chairman of the North American Metal Packaging Alliance, which represents the canned food and beverage industry, said BPA has been 'used safely in metal food packaging for decades. They have been deemed safe by regulatory agencies around the world.' He also said there hasn't been a case of food-borne illness resulting from a failure of metal packaging since the industry began using BPA in its linings more than 30 years ago.

Commercial uses of BPA exploded in the 1950s after scientists discovered its ability to make plastics more durable and shatterproof. By 1963, scientists were using it to create epoxy linings for steel cans, which held up under heat and other extreme conditions.
Because the BPA linings extended the shelf life of canned goods, did not affect taste, prevented bacterial contamination and were relatively cheap, they became the industry standard by the 1970s.

The FDA does not know which companies use BPA, how much they use or how it is applied, because manufacturers are not required to disclose that information. Some companies have had trouble finding out whether their cans contain BPA.

Michael Potter, chief executive of Eden Foods, which makes canned organic products, began asking suppliers about his can linings after reading German research about BPA. 'Trying to determine what was in the can linings that I was purchasing to put food in was a daunting task,' he said. 'Inevitably, you end up speaking to a large law firm inside the Beltway that says you don't have the right to know.'
It took two years, but in 1999, Potter prompted one supplier, the Ball Corp., to switch to a can lined with oleoresin, a mixture of oil and a resin extracted from plants such as pine. The new cans are 14 percent more expensive, about 2.2 additional cents per can, Potter said. 'It went into our costing, and we passed it onto our customers,' he said.

But oleoresin deteriorates in contact with acidic food, forcing Eden Foods to use BPA in its linings for canned tomatoes. Potter said that was why trace amounts of BPA one part per billion were detected by Consumers Union in Eden Foods' baked beans. The beans were made with tomato puree that had been stored in a can with a BPA lining.

The EPA and the FDA, which oversees the use of BPA in food and beverage containers, are reviewing the chemical in light of new research
. Last month, the FDA said it would launch fast-track studies to clarify the research on BPA. It is also encouraging manufacturers to migrate away from the chemical. But the process is slow, because testing must take into account a shelf life of two to five years for most canned foods. 'You don't want to find out that you made a switch based on six months of data but by 18 months the lining breaks down and people are eating it,' an industry source said. Makers of plastic bottles found a quick and relatively simple BPA substitute, polypropylene, but canned-food makers are having considerably more trouble. Foodmakers say that some alternative linings disintegrate, reducing a product's shelf life. Other linings can't withstand the high heat applied to certain canned products to kill bacteria. Still others interfere with taste.

Consumer concerns led Japanese manufacturers to voluntarily reduce the use of BPA between 1998 and 2003. But because cans were primarily used for drinks, they could use a relatively simple polyester substitute. The Japanese also got rid of tableware containing BPA used for school lunches. After the change, Japanese scientists documented a significant drop in BPA levels in research subjects' blood.

Aaron L. Brody, a food packaging expert who teaches at the University of Georgia, said that even if health concerns are not valid, 'if they had an economic can coating that could be applied to food and/or beverage cans today, the coatings industry, the canning industry, would have applied it instantly to get this monkey off their back.'

John Sackton, Editor And Publisher News 1-781-861-1441
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