In addition to the various foods that may contribute to cancer — alcohol, red and/or processed meats, and soft drinks like Coca-Cola and Pepsi — another cancer risk often overlooked comes from chemical additives used in food colorants and packaging in commercially prepared foods.
Bisphenol A (BPA), used in clear plastic bottles and packaging for many frozen, processed, and canned foods, has been detected in the urine of more than 90% of Americans.
BPA is linked to diabetes, breast and prostate cancers, and reproductive abnormalities. And multiple studies have stressed the link with BPA and heart disease.
But the FDA has rejected requests to ban BPA from cans and other packaging because the agency claims opponents have not provided sufficient data to support a rule change, despite literally hundreds of recent studies linking BPA with adverse health effects.
According to Consumer Reports Magazine, BPA has been found in almost all of the 19 name-brand canned foods they tested including Progresso vegetable soup, Campbell’s condensed chicken noodle soup, and Del Monte Blue Lake cut green beans– the chemical was even found in organic canned foods and canned foods labeled “BPA-free.”
Food Dyes and Cancer
Tartrazine is a commonly used color all over the world, mainly for yellow, but can also be used with FD&C Blue 1, E133 or Green S E142 to produce various green shades.
Tartrazine can be found in foods ranging from margarine to orange colored cheeses, Mountain Dew, and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and is basically in any food that resembles a shade of yellow, or various shades of green.
Tartrazine can even be found in items like chocolate pudding and caviar.
In 2010, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) urged the FDA to ban three of the most commonly used dyes: Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6.
A CSPI report claims these dyes contain known carcinogens and contaminants that increase the risks of cancer, hyperactivity in children and allergic reactions.
“These synthetic chemicals do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of foods, but trigger behavior problems in children and, possibly, cancer in anybody,” said CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson, co-author of the report.
“The Food and Drug Administration should ban dyes, which would force industry to color foods with real food ingredients, not toxic petrochemicals.”
Michael F. Jacobson, Executive Director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, claims the FDA has recognized that Red food dye no. 3 is a carcinogen along with other widely used dyes, but has failed to take action.
“In our new investigation,” writes Jacobson, “we found that Yellow 5 caused mutations in numerous studies and that most other food dyes have not been adequately tested.”
Jacobson claims Citrus Red 2 — known to cause bladder cancer in mice and rats — is used to color the skins of some oranges, and the abstract of one unpublished mouse study says that the dye Blue 1 caused kidney tumors.
Furthermore, Yellow 6, Red 40 and Yellow 5, are all contaminated with illegally high levels of benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, known carcinogens, yet the FDA has done nothing.
An estimated 15 million pounds of these food dyes are pumped into our food supply each year, and according to Jacobson, per capita consumption of food dyes has increased five-fold since 1955.
Year after year the federal agencies responsible for regulating and safeguarding America’s food supply have defended the interests of huge corporate food conglomerates and agribusiness, not the welfare of the public.
December 11th, 2012