Harvard wants no soup (cans) for you!

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A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health reports that eating canned soup significantly raises the concentration of the chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) in urine. BPA has been under constant attack from environmental groups alleging that despite its five-decade long history of widespread, safe use it is an endocrine disruptor.

For the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 75 participants consumed a 12-ounce serving of either canned vegetable soup or fresh vegetable soup daily for five days. At the end of the study period, researchers analyzed each participant s urine for BPA which lines most food and drink cans and found that those who consumed the canned soup had BPA levels that were over 10 times higher than those who ate fresh soup in the control group.

While activist groups try to link BPA exposure to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, there is no actual science to these claims, as attested to by every authoritative body to have studied the data. The media are up in arms over this study, yet even the allegedly increased levels of BPA are still incredibly small, says ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross. They do not amount to any health risk.

ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava further points out the importance of BPA in protecting consumers health. What no one notices here, she says, is that BPA-containing can linings are used for a reason they impede corrosion and thus prevent metals from getting into the food. Dr. Ross adds that the only options we have to replace BPA in cans today are chemicals that are much less thoroughly tested and with which we have far less experience. We have extensive research on the safety of BPA, he comments, and we know that it is not harmful. No person has been hurt by BPA.

ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom reminds us that there is some inherent confusion with the nomenclature. Cans are not lined with BPA, but with a polycarbonate plastic that is made with BPA. Over time, the plastic slowly degrades, and this is where the minuscule amounts of free BPA come from.