Trevor Butterworth and (butter)worthless claims about BPA

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The always dead-on Trevor Butterworth once again hit the bullseye in his op-ed in Forbes.com. And in his unique way, he makes the perennial critics of BPA a component of the plastic that seals canned foods look rather foolish.

ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom is in complete agreement: After reading this piece, it would seem rather obvious that the dozens of studies and papers on the health effects of BPA belong in a different type of can a blue one with Recycled printed on it.

Butterworth has some pretty powerful ammunition right now, in the form of a Canadian study, which concluded that the only way that you could be harmed by canned foods that contain BPA would be if you ate 50 cans (31 pounds) of food in one sitting.

Since the human stomach can hold about one quart, if this strikes you as a bad idea, you are not alone. Butterworth says, Some people, notably competitive eaters, can hold more, through the ability to relax their stomach muscles, overcome their satiety and gag reflexes, and by training their stomachs to hold more and more food.

And in a masterpiece of understatement he adds, This may not be good for you.

The 50 cans represents the amount of food which would expose you to enough BPA that might be a concern exposure level for BPA, according to the Canadian study.

If, by some chance this doesn t sound absurd enough, Butterworth concludes, Perhaps there is a superhuman gurgitator who could make their way through 25 pints of food at a speed that would allow BPA to accumulate in their body at this level (remember BPA is constantly and rapidly deactivated in the gut and excreted). But the chances are that you or I would be dead from a perforated stomach.

To which Dr. Bloom asks, Can a movie called The Superhuman Gurgitator be far off? And, if so, can you imagine the size of the popcorn servings at the theater?