What Chemicals Are in Food? Simple Solutions to Avoid Harmful Toxins in Food

By Melinda Wenner Moyer, "How you can avoid BPA, mercury, pesticides and more chemicals in your food.," September/October 2011

How you can avoid BPA, mercury, pesticides and more chemicals in your food.

"Thank you for this article. This has long been a concern for our family. Luckily my in-laws raise grass fed beef, chicken, and organic pork. I would love a source for more food companies that have eliminated BPA and other toxins from...

More on the Effects of BPA (bisphenol A)

The American Chemistry Council, the trade organization representing the plastics industry, maintains that BPA “poses no known risks to human health.” Nevertheless, a consensus statement published by 38 academic and EPA researchers in 2007 noted “a relationship between treatment with ‘low doses’ of BPA” and many negative health outcomes. (By “low doses,” they mean doses to which humans are regularly exposed—resulting in blood levels of about 1 nanogram of BPA per milliliter.) For instance, two studies published by researchers at the University of Exeter in England reported an association between higher everyday exposure to BPA and increased risk of heart disease. A study published in 2010 by researchers at Kaiser Permanente reported that the more BPA men have, the lower their sperm count and motility. And in 2009, researchers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill reported that children who were exposed to high levels of BPA in the womb were more likely to exhibit aggression and hyperactivity as 2-year-olds.

The FDA admitted back in January 2010 that it had “some concern” about the safety of BPA; still, it has not taken action to restrict use of the chemical—unlike Canada and the European Union, which banned the chemical from baby bottles in 2008 and 2011, respectively. But 10 states—Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin—have taken the matter into their own hands, passing legislation to ban BPA from baby products. As of June, California was advancing legislation to do the same. And it is possible to buy BPA-free canned foods: for instance, Eden Organics’ canned beans and all Kroger-brand canned foods are now BPA-free. I also discovered that Pomi, an Italian brand, sells diced and strained tomatoes in BPA-free cardboard boxes, so I now use those.

Next: The Health Effects of Chemicals and Toxins: A Clear Forecast »

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