Friday, March 6, 2009
A Health Canada study of canned pop has found the vast majority of the drinks contain the chemical bisphenol A, a substance that imitates the female hormone estrogen and is banned in baby bottles.
Out of 72 drinks tested, 69 were found to contain BPA at levels below what Health Canada says is the safe upper limit. However, studies in peer-reviewed science journals have indicated that even at very low doses, BPA can increase breast and ovarian cancer cell growth and the growth of some prostate cancer cells in animals.
“There is no risk to Canadians,” Health Canada spokesman Stéphane Shank told CBC News. “The average adult weighing approximately 60 kilograms would have to consume over 900 cans per day” to reach the department’s safety threshold, he said.
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The canned pop Health Canada scientists tested all came from stores in Ottawa in April 2007 and included diet, non-diet, fruit-flavoured and energy drinks. These drinks represent at least 84 per cent of the market share of soft drinks sold in the country.
The federal department’s study was published in January in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry and was posted on Health Canada’s website. When asked why the study was not widely publicized, Shank said “it wasn’t our intent” to hide it.
The study did not find detectable levels of BPA in two types of tonic water, likely the result of a bittering agent used in tonic drinks that could interfere with BPA extraction. It also found no traceable levels in one energy drink, but did not suggest why that might be.
This article was posted: Friday, March 6, 2009 at 1:02 pm