By Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent
A chemical listed by the state of California as a hazardous substance that increases the risk of infertility and some cancers has been found at a high rate in canned foods purchased by researchers from Asian food stores.
The study by the Center of Environmental Health in Oakland found 91 percent of canned food purchased from Asian stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego contained BPA. That’s more than two times the 40 percent rate of BPA found at canned goods purchased from mainstream stores.
Tracey Woodruff, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, says BPA has been connected to infertility and can increase the risk of obesity, breast cancer and prostate cancer, among other ill health affects.
“For me, it’s very dangerous, especially the cans that I tested are mostly bought from the Asian grocery store,” said Tenzin Norbu who is from Tibet and who tested the cans for the Center for Environmental Health.
Federal researchers disagree with California about the dangers of BPA. BPA has been linked to infertility in lab animals, but the Center for Disease Control believes more research is needed to determine BPA impact on humans. Both the Food and Drug Administration and CDC consider the use of BPA in the lining of food packaging to be safe.
The North American Metal Packing Alliance has criticized the Center for Environmental Health’s study saying it was not peer reviewed. The Alliance also says the industry is moving away from using BPA, but says the transition may be slow due to the high inventory of existing cans using BPA.
Woodruff of UCSF suggests those concerned can eat more fresh fruits and vegetables or frozen foods.
The cans tested were imported from China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Australia and Canada.
The state of California has also done testing of canned foods and has a data base of those test results. However, very few Asian imports have been tested by the state.
Starting in 2018, under Proposition 65, cans made with BPA must include a warning on the product. Currently those warnings do not need to be posted on the product, just at the cash register. The BPA warning currently required does not need to name the specific product tested for BPA, just that some products sold at the store may use cans with linings that contain BPA.
Full Report: Kicking the Can
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