Canned Foods Contain Bisphenol-A (BPA)

Someone asked about the safety of individual applesauces, fruit bowls and canned food in the comments of my original article on bisphenol-a. I did not go much into detail about how it relates to canned foods, so thought I would make a post out of my response to her. 

I called Dole several months ago asking about their #7 containers used for their plastic jarred foods and the little fruit bowls. They DO contain bisphenol A. I had several of these and I returned the ones I had not opened and stopped feeding what I had to my daughter.  As far as Dole’s canned foods, they said all their cans are made of tin and are not lined with plastic.

Del Monte cans however ARE lined with an enamel containing BPA. I had to ask him several times and finally got it out of him and then he immediately got all defensive about it. Obviously they have had many calls about this. I asked if there were any plans to change this and he said “No, the USDA, FDA, etc. all approve the lining.” I said they recall items all the time and so I trust the independent research that shows BPA is dangerous and that I would be looking for another product line for my canned foods. I have sometimes use their corn and green beans for cooking, but will no longer.

I always avoid anything with #7 and anything that is a hard, clear plastic. I would rather be on the safe side. Many people do not worry about BPA, but I do because there are so many other things to worry about like chemicals in shampoos, pesticides on food, antibiotics in meat… If it is something I can easily control, I do it, it’s a simple. It’s easy now to find healthier alternatives. If ever you are concerned, just call the 800# on the package and ask for a direct answer. If the person does not know, kindly ask them if they could find out. If they say the product does contain bisphenol A, ask if there are plans to change it and make it safe. If not, make the request for them to do so and tell them you are not going to purchase any more of their products until there is a change. Many will also say “Our research shows polycarbonate is safe.” Obviously there is enough independent research that proves this is not true.

There are much safer alternative products. For example, Motts, Whole Foods and Earth’s Best all make applesauce containers with #1, #2 or #5 plastic. I am sure there are others. UPDATE: Mott’s (and possible all single serve applesauce) also come in #7 polycarbonate containers. I just called Mott’s and they confirmed they do use polycarbonate for some applesauce containers, but that #1 is also used. Mott’s maintains the FDA says #7 is safe, but we know better, don’t we! So, my advice is to either avoid Mott’s (and possibly all single serve applesauce and fruit) or check the bottom each and every time you make a purchase to make sure you are not selecting a #7 container. Sure is frustrating, but hopefully the FDA will come to their senses soon and ban this toxic substance.

I have not seen any fruit bowls though that are not #7. I have gone to almost all fresh organic fruit, but on the extremely rare occassion I don’t, I use regular canned fruit and veggies (tin containers!). But so much fresh or frozen organic options are available, that canned fruits and veggies just really are not a necessity. Now, I may pull out a can maybe once a month. I no longer used canned tomatoes — i use fresh or do without. I just realized that this was a simple change and really has not had a big impact on our lifestyle.

Related Articles:

  • “Cheat sheet” of BPA-free sippy cups and bottles
  • Pregnant women told to avoid BPA
  • Today Show report on BPA & plastic safety
  • BPA may lead to health problems such as obesity and ADD/ADHD
  • Whole Foods private label canned food contain BPA
  • BPA is found in infant formula
  • Gerber baby food containers
  • BPA and other plastic safety
  • Z Recommends: The Z Report on BPA In Infant Care Products, Third Edition
  • Environmental Working Group: Guide to Baby Safe Bottles & Formula
  • Environmental Working Groups Report on BPA in Baby Formula
  • Breastmilk contains stem cells
  • Breastmilk cures
  • Can breastmilk cure cancer?
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    21 responses to this post.

    1. Posted by Kelly on February 12, 2008 at 11:16 am

      Hello, thanks for your info. Can you tell me if you found out from Whole Foods re: 365 private label andBPA’s?

      Reply

    2. Posted by Trisha on February 12, 2008 at 4:14 pm

      I have not yet heard back, but will be following up with them.

      Reply

    3. Posted by Trisha on February 15, 2008 at 12:28 pm

      Hi Kelly,

      I heard back from Whole Foods and posted their response here: https://amomsblog.wordpress.com/2008/02/15/whole-foods-365-private-label-cans-do-contain-some-bpa/

      Reply

    4. Posted by Kelly on March 3, 2008 at 10:41 am

      Hi Trisha,
      Wow, that’s disturbing that 365 does use BPA in their cans. I have tried to contact other vendors but the list is endless. I buy anything Dole I can get my hands on. I wish there was a list out there that showed which manufacturers avoid bpa in their cans.
      Thank you so much for your hard work and information.
      BPA really concerns me because you could get a chockful if you use several canned goods to make a soup, stew or spaghetti.
      Take Care,
      Kelly

      Reply

    5. Posted by Sue on April 16, 2008 at 3:06 pm

      The article says that Motts fruit cups are safe, but I have a Motts Fruitsations Country Berry cup in my hand that has a #7 on the bottom???

      Reply

    6. Posted by Trisha on April 16, 2008 at 3:11 pm

      Sue, I noticed this myself just yesterday. I am not sure if they changed or what, but I will have to update the article and call to find out what the #7 means since it does not always indicated BPA. I know months ago I had some applesauce with a #1 on the bottom, so not sure what happened between then and now.

      Thanks

      Trisha

      Reply

    7. Posted by Trisha on April 17, 2008 at 11:48 am

      Sue, I just got off the phone with Mott’s. The use both #1 and #7 containers for their applesauce. So I am not crazy, which is a relief. However, they did say the #7 was polycarbonate and is used because the applesauce keeps longer. They maintain the FDA says its safe, blah, blah, blah, but we now know better and hopefully the FDA will catch up to speed soon and ban this toxic substance. So as far as applesauce goes, either completely avoid the single serves all together or check the bottom of the containers each and everytime you purchse it!

      Reply

    8. Posted by Crystal on April 23, 2008 at 2:26 am

      (I also posted this under “BPA in Mott’s applesauce containers.”)
      I contacted Tree Top with the same question about their single serve applesauce containers and other products, because the ones I bought have a #7. They state they do not use polycarbonate (and thus no BPA) in any of their packaging. They had a similar explanation regarding the oxygen barrier as another commenter received from Mott’s (see other post about Mott’s), which gives me confidence in their response. This reply is also on their website, http://www.treetop.com/aboutUs/faq.htm
      Here it is:

      Dear Tree Top Customer:

      Thank you for contacting us with your concerns regarding our Tree Top plastic containers.

      Tree Top uses plastic containers made from PETE (symbol 1) and polypropylene (PP symbol 5). Because there is an oxygen barrier, which helps to keep juice fresh, in our bottles, they carry both a “5 compatible” and a “7” symbol; however, there is no polycarbonate material in them.

      According to the current information, it’s the polycarbonate material (Bisphenol-A) that is leaching from plastic containers, which may or may not be a health hazard. None of our packaging materials contain this type of material.

      Both our juice bottles and apple sauce containers are in compliance with the US and Canadian Food Packaging regulations.

      John Baranowski, Ph.D.
      Manager of Technical Support
      Tree Top, Inc.

      This information is also located on our Tree Top Website under
      Frequently Asked Questions.

      I hope this information has been helpful, please let us know if we can
      be of further assistance.

      Sincerely,

      TREE TOP, INC.

      Sonia G. Nowlin
      Corporate Quality Services / Consumer Affairs

      Reply

    9. Posted by Heather on April 25, 2008 at 2:55 pm

      Okay, this is ridiculous that people can’t get clear consistent answers. I called Motts who told me they do not use any polycarbonate and none of their packaging contains BPA. They told me they use a #5 plastic that is in 2 layers with an oxygen layer between the two so that is why it must be labeled as a #7. They are mailing me that statement, supposedly. That was today: April 25, yet Trisha just said that on April 17th they told her that the #7 ones do contain BPA and are polycarbonate. I WANT AN ANSWER!!!!

      Reply

    10. Posted by Trisha on April 25, 2008 at 9:03 pm

      Heather,

      It is amazing how people get different answers. Between 3 people we called Gerber about 6 times and got 3 different answers on their #7 containers. When I called Motts I was in fact told the container was made of polycarbonate. I even asked, are you sure because the plastic is kinda flexible which is not like polycarbonate. And he said well the #7 ones are because the applesauce stays fresher longer. He said they also used #1 containers.

      Now, I also emailed Motts and got a similar answer you did regarding the 2 layers. I emailed again and asked why I got different answers and I have yet to receive a reply.

      It definitely is frustrating. I certainly do not want to give my child anything containing BPA, but I also do not want to say something has BPA when it does not. I am waiting for Motts to answer why the 2 different answers, so we will see what they come back to say.

      I feel your frustration and thanks for commenting!

      Trisha

      Reply

    11. Posted by Kimberly on September 15, 2008 at 12:41 pm

      So I just got off the phone with Earth’s Best after seeing the single serve plastic containers of applesauce in my fridge are plastic #7. They said that the containers for this applesauce do not contain bpa but when I asked what these containers were made of, they could not give me an answer. That leaves me feeling a little unsettled. They also did offer out that their jarred applesauce does contain bpa in the lids.

      Reply

    12. Posted by Navin on November 8, 2008 at 12:53 pm

      Whole Foods in Madison, WI, claims that their 365 private label organic tomoto paste and sauce do not contain any BPAs. Anyone know if that is true.

      Why can’t big companies like Con Agra that make Hunt’s tomato products etc can’t put thier product in bottles. I would love to have large sealable tomoto paste and sauce jars just like pasta sauce.

      Reply

    13. Posted by Trisha on November 8, 2008 at 5:31 pm

      Navin,

      My local Whole Foods said the same thing. I think they think this because they removed the baby bottles containing BPA. But they encouraged me to contact the corporate office for their private label division for clarification. Glad I did because WF 365 brand DOES contain BPA. Eden Organics is the only brand I know of that uses a special lining that does NOT contain BPA. More companies should follow their lead, as the cans with this lining cost about the same as cans with BPA lining.

      Here is my post on the Whole Foods 365 cans.
      https://amomsblog.wordpress.com/2008/02/15/whole-foods-365-private-label-cans-do-contain-some-bpa/

      Reply

    14. Posted by glenda watson on November 11, 2008 at 1:25 pm

      This is definitely scary. I always trusted DelMonte, was raised on it.But no more I just discarded two full trash bags of plastic containers. Pyrex here I come along with fresh everything. This info has really helped. Thanks.

      Reply

    15. Posted by J S on November 15, 2008 at 9:08 pm

      sorry, i don’t have anything intellectual to add other than i am so angry that in AMERICA our babies are not more protected and that ultimately the mighty dollar means more to these corporations than our own and our innocent young ones – who are these phone representatives that lie for their jobs at the expense to the young public – can they really sleep well at night?? i have enough work to do raising a child that i wish to God that i did not have to research and check and recheck every single thing to know in THIS country whether or not the product is safe – by now, safety should be a given – no wonder we are all so freaking sleep-deprived!!! what i want to know is what can be done to turn this corruption completely upside down other than to avoid products; they are only replaced by another equally toxic substance anyway – i should be able to go to CLAIRES and buy my girl a freaking necklace for heaven’s sake!!!! and what’s sickening is they make these horrendous things to enticing to these young ones – disgusting!!!

      Reply

    16. Posted by Deb on October 23, 2009 at 10:33 pm

      I recently read an article about canned tomatoes and the high levels of BPA found in them because of how acidic they are. The article didn’t say anything about the cans being lined or just made of tin. Do you know anything about this?

      Reply

      • Posted by Trisha on October 24, 2009 at 5:01 pm

        Deb, I am not aware of any canned tomatoes that do not have BPA lining. Eden Organics also use the BPA lining for tomatoes, though all their other canned products are BPA free. Even home canned tomatoes can be exposed to BPA from the lining in the lids.

        Reply

    17. […] companies use this chemical in their packaging including cans, soda cans, and plastic food containers. There is a risk of absorbing this chemical […]

      Reply

    18. Posted by apply for VA loan on July 27, 2010 at 3:23 pm

      Very Informative. The more I learn the wiser I get.

      Reply

    19. Posted by Michele harris on September 23, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      What do u look for to know the canned stuff contains BPA ?? I have green giant corn , green bean and lucks and bushes beans … How do u find if it contains this …. Tks

      Reply

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