Skip to main content

Statewide Testing Reveals Canned Foods From Ethnic Markets May Be Risky

Some of the BPA-tainted cans found at major supermarkets are shown in this un...

Credit: Center for Environmental Health

Above: Some of the BPA-tainted cans found at major supermarkets are shown in this undated photo.

Consumers may want to think twice before buying canned foods from Asian specialty markets.

That is according to the Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health (CEH), which recently conducted statewide tests on products purchased in specialty stores in San Diego, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento.

CEH says more than 90 percent of the cans tested positive for Bisphenol A (BPA).

In May, the consumer watchdog group discovered that just under 40 percent of canned foods from major supermarkets contain BPA.

In animal studies, the chemical has been linked to cancer and reproductive health problems.

Caroline Cox, CEH's research director, said BPA is used in the lining of canned foods to prevent corrosion.

"“The BPA in the can lining leaches into the food during the canning process. So when you eat the food, you’re actually eating a little bit of BPA," she explained.

Some scientists believe even small amounts of BPA may be dangerous.

The FDA states BPA is safe at the current levels found in foods. Even so, the agency says it is continuing to review current studies.

A consumer watchdog group said a high percentage of canned foods sold in Asian specialty stores contain the chemical BPA.


San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.