Does Canned Food Cause Cancer?

By F&W Editors Posted April 28, 2016

A recent study suggests that BPAs can be found in an alarming number of the cans used for canned goods. 

Canned food lovers, beware (we're looking at you, Ted Cruz): New research shows that an alarming number of the cans used in canned foods—like soup, for instance—test positive for the chemical BPA, which has been linked to health problems such as cancer.  

In a recent studywhich was conducted by Canada's Environmental Defence group in conjunction with five U.S. companies—the U.S. Breast Cancer Fund; Campaign for Healthier Solutions; Clean Production Action; Ecology Center; and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families’ Mind the Store Campaign—192 cans were tested for BPA-based epoxy resins. Of those cans, all of which were sourced from major North American retailers, 129, or 67 percent, tested positive.


The question of whether or not BPA is harmful in such low doses is a subject of fierce debate among scientists, but a number of cancer groups are fighting for increased transparency about the toxin's presence in everyday objects. 

“There is a lot of evidence, and it’s growing, that BPA can have an affect on the human body even at very low levels,” said Lynn Ladbrook, the CEO of Breast Cancer UK, to the Telegraph. “We believe there is no safe dose of BPA. That’s why we are writing to the UK subsidiaries of the companies in the US study, asking them to state their policy on BPA and the extent to which the chemical is used in the UK.” 

Among the companies whose products were tested in the study include Campbell's, Del Monte, General Mills (which includes Progresso and Green Giant), Nestle, and McCormick & Company. And many of these companies—including Campbell's—had promised to start transitioning away from BPA use in their cans. Yet, according to the study, traces of BPA-based epoxy were found in 100 percent of the Campbell's cans tested. 

The jury may be out on the long-term effects of low doses of BPA, but it never hurts to know what's in your food. Consider this a great incentive to make your own soup whenever possible. Here are some of our all-time favorite soup recipes

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