No More Toxic Alphabet Soup For Me, Please ~ The Garden of Eating - a sinfully good blog about food

Saturday, January 30, 2010

No More Toxic Alphabet Soup For Me, Please

BPA, PVC, BFR, DDT... whether we realize it or not, an unfortunate alphabet soup of toxins has insinuated itself into every aspect of our lives

From the BPA (bisphenol-A) in our canned tomatoes and water bottles to the PVC (polyvinyl chloride) in our shower curtains and baby toys to the phthalates in our shampoo and shaving cream to the BFR (brominated flame retardant) in our mattresses and our baby's pajamas, we're surrounded by toxic chemicals that raise our risk of developing cancer, asthma, Alzheimers, and also cause a dizzying array of developmental, neurological, immunologic, reproductive, and endocrine disorders. (whew, that was a looong sentence!)

Needless to say, these toxic chemicals need banning! Unfortunately, Congress has not figured that out yet, despite lots of news stories and studies about the dangers these chemicals pose to our health and to our environment. 

To help Congress get the message I've created a petition urging them to reform the lame dinosaur that is the Toxic Substances Control Act (of 1976...) before any more damage is done. Please join me in making sure that they get the message. 

Click here to add your name and then please spread the word via email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Thanks so much for your help.
A few more posts you might like:

6 comments:

Kate said...

Red Gold brand tomatoes come in cans that are not lined with BPA. A little more expensive, but totally worth it.

And I am completely on board with this. Thanks for posting it.

Eve Fox said...

Hi Kate, I will have to check those out (since I am working on a post about BPA-free food options).
Thanks so much!
-Eve

Eve Fox said...

Hi Kate,
sad to say that Red Gold tomatoes do come in cans lined with epoxy that contains BPA. There is simply no other alternative lining that can hold up to the high acid levels at this time. Here is the response I received (very quickly) from their customer service dept in response to my query this morning in case you're interested. As I mentioned, I am working on a post that includes some alternatives to canned tomatoes in the meantime. Best, Eve

Dear Ms. Fox,

Thank you for your recent correspondence concerning the use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in the lining of the cans used for tomato products produced by Red Gold, LLC.

Please note that BPA is not unique to the white can lining. All canned tomato products contain an enamel lining, whether it be white, clear or gold. Red Gold uses all three types. Often times, consumers confuse the clear enamel for no enamel at all. Canned tomato products (regardless of the brand) have a naturally high acid content which require the use of a food-grade enamel can lining.

According to our container supplier, the cans supplied to Red Gold have epoxy-based interior coatings for maximum performance and shelf life of your product. Epoxy coatings are manufactured from Bisphenol A, and only extremely low levels (generally less than 37 parts per billion) of BPA have been reported to migrate into some canned foods. All of our can manufacturers have assured us they are looking for alternative options.

Red Gold is a family owned and operated company, which has been producing tomato products exclusively for over 65 years. Thank you for your inquiry and please feel free to contact us at (866) 729-7187 or by e-mail at info@redgold.com if we can be of any further assistance.

Sincerely,
Red Gold, LLC

Consumer Relations Team

Anonymous said...

Banning these chemicals is one thing, but there are too many chemicals that will not be banned and under TSCA thousands of chemicals will need to be "tested."

To ensure that we really fix this problem of toxic alphabet soup we must include modern science language, which necessarily utilizes non-animal methods, in this bill; otherwise we'll have another outdated bill on our hands.

Currently, many toxicity tests are based on experiments in animals and use methods that were developed as long ago as the 1930’s; they and are slow, inaccurate, open to uncertainty and manipulation, and do not adequately protect human health. These tests take anywhere from months to years, and tens of thousands to millions of dollars to perform. More importantly, the current testing paradigm has a poor record in predicting effects in humans and an even poorer record in leading to actual regulation of dangerous chemicals.

Alternatives to animal testing exist in a powerful way and many scientists advocate them. Chemical reform should not only modernize policy, but modernize the science that supports that policy.

Anonymous said...

Banning harmful chemicals is one thing, but there are too many chemicals in existence to ban them all.

To ensure that we really fix this problem of toxic alphabet soup we must include modern science language, which necessarily utilizes non-animal methods, in this bill; otherwise we'll have another outdated bill on our hands.

Currently, many toxicity tests are based on experiments in animals and use methods that were developed as long ago as the 1930’s; they and are slow, inaccurate, open to uncertainty and manipulation, and do not adequately protect human health. These tests take anywhere from months to years, and tens of thousands to millions of dollars to perform. More importantly, the current testing paradigm has a poor record in predicting effects in humans and an even poorer record in leading to actual regulation of dangerous chemicals.

Alternatives to animal testing exist in a powerful way and many scientists advocate them. Chemical reform should not only modernize policy, but modernize the science that supports that policy.

Eve Fox said...

Hi anonymous,
one thing that seems to me as if it would be incredibly helpful is to put the burden of proving safety to humans and the environment on the chemical companies who can much better afford to foot the bill for the testing and who really are the ones who should be responsible for proving safety (perhaps via a government testing agency - I certainly would not trust these corporations to be honest about the results) in the first place.