For Some Canned Food Companies, BPA Still Rampant

There’s good news and bad news for health-conscious consumers: of 252 brands that make canned foods, less than 50 percent use bisphenol-A (BPA) lined cans for some or all of their products—but just barely, according to a new survey by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released Wednesday.

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With 109 companies not responding, that number could be even higher. The EWG focused on brands that produce “classic” canned foods—”vegetables, fruits, juices, beans, soups, stews and other canned meals, deli goods, tomatoes, sauces, meat, fish and shellfish, canned milk, coconut milk and desserts.”

“Disturbingly, consumers have no reliable way of knowing whether a canned food item is BPA-free,” EWG wrote in its report, titled BPA in Canned Foods: Behind the Brand Curtain (pdf).

Federal regulations do not require canned goods to disclose BPA-based linings. The material, which is a synthetic estrogen, has been linked to breast cancer, reproductive damage, developmental problems, heart disease, and other issues, EWG noted.

Among the brands that are completely BPA-free are Amy’s Kitchen, the Hain Celestial Group, and Sprouts Farmers Market. Those who did use BPA-lined cans include Nestlé USA, Target’s Market Pantry, and Bush’s.