Monday, June 23, 2008

BPA Update

Well I wrote to Hormel to ask about BPA in the Valley Fresh Canned Chicken I eat and below is their reply.

--- On Mon, 6/23/08, wrote:

Subject: 1624521
Date: Monday, June 23, 2008, 12:10 PM

June 23, 2008

Thank you for contacting us about VALLEY FRESH Chunk Chicken.

The use of polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins for food contact applications
has been and continues to be recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration, the European Commission's Scientific Committee on Food, the
United Kingdom Food Standards Agency, the
Japanese Ministry for Health, Labor
and Welfare, and other regulatory authorities worldwide.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a key building block of epoxy resins.

Metal food and beverage cans have a thin coating on the interior surface, which
is essential to prevent corrosion of the can and contamination of food and
beverages with dissolved metals (UK FSA, 2002). In addition, the coating helps
to prevent canned foods from becoming tainted or spoiled by bacterial
contamination. The major types of interior can coating are made from epoxy
resins, which have achieved wide acceptance for use as protective coatings
because of their exceptional combination of toughness, adhesion, formability
and chemical resistance. Such coatings are essentially inert and have been used
safely for over 40 years. In addition to protecting contents from spoilage,
these coatings make it possible for food products to maintain their quality
taste, while extending shelf life.

Every single can that has any kind of coating on the inside to keep the bar
metal from coming into contact with the food contains BPA. The amount used is
extremely insignificant and the amount of canned food that would have to be
consumed to elevate this substance to levels of concern would be somewhere in
the neighborhood of 500 lbs a day.

Please feel free to contact us again if you have any further questions or

Consumer Response Specialist
Ref # 1624521

My reply:

This did not answer the question as to if that product used a resin that contained BPA. Eden Foods canned goods do not contain BPA (except in their tomato products) So it is possible to not have BPA and still have safe food that "protects" the public from bacteria.

"The amount used is extremely insignificant and the amount of canned food that would have to be consumed to elevate this substance to levels of concern would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 lbs a day."

I am aware of that study and it was done by the plastics industry who make that very product. I am also aware of several independent scientific studies that point to problems not in the parts per billion but the parts per trillion.

BPA is being phased out of other plastics in the industry (water bottles, cups, baby bottles etc). Concentrations of BPA was higher in canned goods from "the thin lining" than was found in water bottles.

The FDA says a lot of things are "safe". What I wonder is if the public as a whole is concerned about BPA, regardless what the FDA claims at this point in time, that food companies such as your own would keep business by stopping the use of BPA containing resin.

I assume that I am not the first person to ask a question about BPA in your products since a preplanned responce was sent. This should alert you to the concern your customers have about BPA.

For me it is simple I will not buy your product because it contains BPA. I instead will buy from companies that don't contain this "safe FDA approved" product.



I could have wrote:

I sat here smoking a cigarette upset my your companies response. BPA is a known cancer causing substance in laboratory animals and a known hormone disruptor as it mimics estrogen. While I contemplated what to write as a response to your email I microwaved a number 7 disposable cup that is higher in BPA and not microwave safe to make some chamomile tea since my boyfriend used all the mugs and I was to lazy to clean one with our dish soap that contains Benzaldehyde another hormone disruptor. After my tea I reread your letter to refresh my memory of what it said. And as I smoked my second cigarette I am appalled at your companies general lack of concern for the well being of your customer base.

That letter would not have been deleted but printed out and hung on the wall of her office.

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