Thanksgiving canned goods test positive for toxic chemical

Canned cranberries: They're worse than you think
Canned cranberries: They're worse than you think

If your Thanksgiving dinner shopping list includes Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce and Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, you might want to give the can opener a rest and start re-thinking your menu. A new report reveals the presence of the toxic estrogenic chemical bisphenol (BPA) in several canned Thanksgiving staples. Some of the highest levels reported came from samples of canned goods purchased in Minneapolis.

Exposure to BPA, commonly used in plastics and container linings, including can linings, to protect against contamination, has been linked to infertility, diabetes, and several types of cancer.The study, conducted by the the Breast Cancer Fund, sampled four cans each of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup, Campbell's Turkey Gravy, Carnation Evaporated Milk (by Nestlé), Del Monte Fresh Cut Sweet Corn (Cream Style), Green Giant Cut Green Beans (by General Mills), Libby's Pumpkin (by Nestlé), and Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce. Results showed vastly different levels of BPA in each sample, which researchers say could be attributed to the different methods of canning at each manufacturing facility.

The Breast Cancer Fund's website says that "for half of the products tested, a single 120-gram serving of the food contains enough BPA to show adverse health impacts in lab studies. Have some pumpkin pie after your green bean casserole and gravy, and the amount of BPA delivered to each holiday diner adds up to a concerning chemical dose."

It's not all bad news for consumers and Minnesota-based businesses. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy says that "some of the can manufacturers featured in this report, such as General Mills and Nestlé, have announced that they are working toward alternatives to BPA in canned foods."

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