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Many Canned Foods Still Contain Toxic Chemical

Photo credit: Center for Environmental Health

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

Many canned foods sold at major retailers still contain the toxic chemical BPA, according to a new study.

Canned foods may be harmful to your health.

A new report from the Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health (CEH) found many canned foods still contain Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that has been linked to birth defects and cancer.

The center tested more than 250 cans of food from major retailers in nine states, including California and New York.

The chemical was found in the linings of nearly 40 percent of the cans tested.

Charles Margulis, CEH's media director, said cans sold at some dollar stores were more likely to contain BPA.

“Which means that people in neighborhoods where they rely on the dollar stores for a lot of their fruits and vegetables, may be getting higher exposure to BPA," he explained. "And these are typically neighborhoods that already suffer disproportionate toxic exposures in their daily lives.”

Margulis pointed out that California has added BPA to the list of chemicals known to cause serious reproductive harm.

“Now for any other product, that would require that consumers are warned before they buy the product," he said. "But the state exempted canned foods from the regulation, so there is no warning on these cans, and no way for consumers to know which cans may or may not contain BPA.”

On its website, the FDA says based on its ongoing review of scientific evidence, the agency continues to support the safety of BPA for the currently approved uses in food containers and packaging.

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