Is it the Spam, or is it the can?
At some point, even the people at Stats.org are going to have to acknowledge the growing pile of studies from all over the world adding to the case against Bisphenol A (BPA). The latest, From the University of Exeter, looked at the CDC (American Center for Disease Control) data and found that 60 year old men with the highest levels of BPA have about a 45% greater risk of heart disease than those with lower levels.
"The evidence is now overwhelming that human exposure to bisphenol A is at the root of significant human disease, and that one of the most important things we could do for public health is to reduce human exposure to this chemical."
BPA shills at the American Chemistry Council counter:
"The study itself does not establish a cause-and-effect relationship between BPA exposure and heart disease."
They have a point; it is purely a statistical link. One could imagine that people who eat a lot of canned corned beef or spam might have both a higher BPA level and more heart disease; the increase in heart disease may be a function of what is in the cans rather than the cans themselves. It should also be pointed out that saying that it is a 45% increase in risk is a scarier sounding way of saying that the risk increased from 7% to 10.2%. But it is still a significant increase.
As our resident chemist noted after the last study that noted a correlation between BPA and heart disease:
"This could also be argued to demonstrate that people who eat the an abundance of pre-packaged and commercially prepared fast food have heart disease at relatively higher rates, for example. In which case the higher BPA rates would simply be flagging an otherwise unhealthy diet."
But others in directly involved in the field directly target the Bisphenol A as the culprit. Tamara S. Galloway, PhD, who collaborated on the study, told WebMD:
"The risks associated with exposure to BPA may be small, but they are relevant to very large numbers of people. This information is important since it provides a great opportunity for intervention to reduce the risks."
Gina Solomon of the National Resources Defense Council agrees, telling WebMD:
"Already we know that BPA is associated with diabetes and metabolic disturbances, so it is not surprising this carries out to heart disease. These results make sense and really increase our level of concern that BPA is a public health threat."
We might also note that canned food is generally higher in salt and other preservatives, and is probably worth trying to avoid anyways. Try and opt for foods preserved in glass, although even they may well be tainted with BPA.
More at WebMD
More on BPA in adult food:
Yet Another Bisphenol A Pile-on: Linked to Heart Disease, Diabetes and Liver Problems
BPA Danger may be greater from Tin Cans than Water Bottles
Bisphenol A Is In Your Tomato Sauce
Drink Soda Pop? You're Drinking Bisphenol A (BPA)
Is There Bisphenol A In Your Home Canning?