Research from French National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) showed that the chemical bisphenol A (BPA) may impact digestion and warned that consumers – especially pregnant women and children – should avoid food that’s come into contact with BPA-containing plastics.
This is on top of earlier research which showed that BPA may cause problems with brain development, breast cancer, and a slough of other health concerns.
The first part of the digestive system that deals with BPA when we consume it is the intestinal tract. Even at doses ten times lower than the amount that the FDA calls safe for humans, they recorded negative reactions in rats’ intestines.
They also tested the chemical on human intestine cells. According to a Food Production Daily report:
…the chemical lowered the permeability of the intestines and the immune system’s response to digestive inflammation. They also found that newborn rats exposed to BPA in the uterus and during feeding have a higher risk of developing severe intestinal inflammation in adulthood.
The director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Toxicology Program is recommending that we avoid BPA-laced plastics wherever possible, especially where pregnant women or young children are concerned. Researchers are saying these results may mean we need to re-evaluate what’s considered a safe level of the chemical in our diets, and that they “open new research paths for characterizing and evaluating the effects of endocrine disruptors from food.”
Meanwhile, the FDA delayed releasing its report on BPA safety without any comment as to why or when we can expect the report. We can’t wait around for the government to take action here. If we want to keep BPA out of our food, the best course of action right now seems to be getting educated.
Not too long ago, John talked about BPA in canned goods. Not only does his post have info on what to avoid, he has some great resources to learn about why BPA is such a huge health concern.
You can also proactively look for products labeled as BPA-free.
Marion Nestle says that “avoidance is prudent,” and I’m inclined to agree. She mentions that #7 and #3 plastics are major BPA culprits. To check out the number of any plastic container, take a peek at the bottom. It should be stamped down there next to a recycle symbol. I’m a big fan of Nestle’s advice, though, “Can’t keep the numbers straight? Try glass?”