Consumer Reports and Bisphenol A

CannedFood-150x145The December issue of Consumer Reports (page 54) contains an article on Bisphenol A (BPA) which is used in plastic bottles and food-can liners. CR tests found BPA in almost all canned food tested. The question is how much, if any, has adverse health effects.

The FDA currently puts the daily upper safe limit of exposure to BPA at 50 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. Consumer Reports says that standard is based on experiments done in the 1980s and that more recent tests show abnormalities in animals at much lower exposures.

Consumer Reports recommends that manufacturers and government “should act to eliminate the use of BPA in all material that come into contact with food.” Consumer Reports fails to cite the new studies referred to.

The Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) at George Mason University takes Consumer Reports to task:

“Consumer Reports made so many factual errors in presenting its data on BPA in canned goods that no-one could have possibly read the actual research. A call for a ban on the chemical puts the public at risk from deadly food borne pathogens.”

“Consumer Reports have come out with a purported investigation into the chemical Bisphenol A that shows scant familiarity with any of the risk assessments of the chemical. Given that BPA is used to prevent food spoilage in cans, and given that food spoilage can lead to bacterial infection putting people at risk from botulism, and given that there is no safe and effective alternative as yet for BPA, these errors and exaggerations and omissions are not trivial. Consumer Reports seems to be oblivious to the extensive research on BPA carried out by the European Union, the Environmental Protection Agency, and others, all of which refutes the magazine’s claims about the chemical. ”

The STATS article goes on to list specific reasons why they think CR did a bad job. The STATS article also provides links to recent research from Europe, Japan, Canada, Australia, and the U.S. which conclude that BPA does not pose a hazard.

Read the STATS article and make up your own mind.

Note: I am a subscriber to Consumer Reports


    1. As CR points out, the chemical industry has vigorously defended their product, just as chemophobes have  tried to discredit any study which supports industry.

      In scanning the website you link to, I could find no reference to STATS, so I don’t understand your reference implying STATS is not disinterested.  I don’t know if BPA is dangerous or not, but studies conducted all over the world say it isn’t.
      It is a saying in toxicology: The dose makes the poison.

  1. I don’t know about BPA.  I did look up STATS, and in spite of their claims of independence, it appears they are a front organization for the Center for Media and Public Affairs, an organization that receives the majority of its funding from conservative foundations and has a history of attacking environmentalists, civil libertarians, feminists and other “liberals.”

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