Tuesday, May 10, 2016

BPA gets rehashed again

As might be expected when taking a 2-month "sabbatical" from blogging, there is plenty to comment on regarding BPA.

Campbell Soup is still feeling more heat than a simmering can of Chicken-and-Stars soup (sorry, couldn't resist) to get BPA out of the can liners. Still. As Plastics Today noted, this is not the first go-around for them. They had already said they were removing the BPA-containing liners back in 2012. The article pussy-foots around the obvious: they were only committing to do so in the future once an alternative could be identified even as it sounded like they were all ready to make the change. That certainly helped buy them some time as the concerned groups and individuals put the issue on the "back-burner" (sorry again).

4 years later and the alternative is still not in place and so they are feeling the heat again. This time, 2017 is the promised deadline to be BPA free. But of course, the unanswered question is what is the alternative and is it safer than the current liners.

Not content to just pressure companies, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA, the European equivalent for the US's FDA [*]), has been asked to re-examine the safety of BPA despite having as recently as last January decided that the material does not pose a risk to ordinary consumers. And the FDA has consistently agreed with EFSA. As have other government bodies around the world.

All of this fuss over a can of soup when a clear alternative easily exists: make your own soup. It's pretty darn difficult to screw up making a soup and it will certainly taste better than anything from a can. The kitchen will smell wonderful and if you are concerned, you can control how much salt you add. Better yet, you can use fresh organic vegetables and free-range chicken (all locally sourced of course!) and knock yourself out with how the righteousness of your soup will protect the planet, improve your health and save the children.

[*] Update 5/19/2016: As is noted in one of the comments below, the EFSA is the equivalent of the FDA, but only the F (Food) part and not the D (Drug) part.

Previous Years

May 10, 2012 - The Technical Data Sheet for a Polymer? You Can Pretty Much Ignore Them

May 10, 2011 - The Reason for Resin

May 10, 2011 - Another Unique Bike

May 10, 2010 - Time-temperature Superposition and going nuts

May 10, 2007 - Chemical Comics


PMD said...

The whole BPA thing kind of bothers me -- it's just such a flagrant example of a situation where a chemical is very likely safe but because the chemophobes don't trust the regulatory agencies, the controversy is going to continue forever. (As with GMOs). See this FDA 2014 updated lit review for example:


The compound has bioavailability < 1% because first pass metabolism is through the roof, it gets glucuronidated and sulfated like crazy, and a half life < 2hrs for the same reason. Exposure is nowhere near what you would need to cause a problem. But because many consumers have come to the conclusion (based on alarmist articles and flagrant chemophobia in the press) that BPA is dangerous, this controversy is going to continue for many years to come. There's really nothing you can do.

Anyhow. Rant over now. (tl;dr, I know)

Anonymous said...

Sorry to bother, but the EFSA is the equivalent of the FDA only for the Food part. The Drug part is another agency, the EMA

John said...

Thanks for the information. I'll correct the post.