Friday, September 30, 2011

The Princess and the Poisonous Spaghettios? BPA in Kid's Canned Food


From the Breast Cancer Fund: Princess Pasta with a side of BPA
 So a new study just came out from San Fran's Breast Cancer Fund frightening us about bisphenol a (aka BPA) in popular canned food marketed to kids (even Annie's).  Wasn't gonna cover it because it's a very small study that hasn't been vetted by peer-review.

Then I came across this review of the study on Science News.  Found the words of Janet Raloff so refreshingly reasonable I wanted to put it out there.  This is how we should be talking about scientific findings.

The title pretty much says it all:
BPA: What to make of pollutant-laced kids’ foods:  New study fails to place its limited data in perspective.
Love that.  The uncertainty, the nod to context, the gentle scolding, the mild irritation.  The ant hill of data out of the Breast Cancer Fund was meager in scope.  Worse the authors somehow didn't even consider canned foods with even more traces BPA and remarkably left out some recent evidence bolstering the possibility continual exposure to BPA might more harmful than a single heavy dose.  Yes, the former research limited to rats, you guessed it.  Not sure how much stock I put in those animal studies but if I were writing up the new princess pasta work I'd def include it to beef up my case. 

In any event it's reassuring that someone is actually reviewing the research in an objective manner even if it's on a website unknown to most parents wondering about that can of Spaghettios.  Gotta love this summation:  
The take-home here, as so often in science: It remains an open question about how to make practical use of developing data. Potentially useful information on BPA exposures and risks are emerging in dribs and drabs. One can only hope that before long, a sufficient body of data will exist on which to base health policy and our grocery lists.

It's a shame you have to troll sciency sites to find this frankness when it comes to the latest scientific findings.  Anyhow, thanks, Janet.  Any thoughts on say, the breastfeeding literature?  Hey, how about the sibling stuff or kindergarten red-shirting?

4 comments:

TherExtras said...

Hope you had a chance to leave Janet a comment on her piece. Maybe she will follow you over here and answer your questions. Hopefully.

Good find, Polly.

Barbara

Polly Palumbo, Ph.D. said...

Hey Barbara, will go do a look see at Janet's! You good?

TherExtras said...

You were right, Polly. I just read the comments on this article - which added a lot to it. I guess other Science Daily readers don't follow the links of the commenters (much). Did you look at the links to the other commenters?

We are swimming against the tide, eh?
Barbara

Polly Palumbo, Ph.D. said...

The comments on the Science News site were interesting too, surprised there wasn't the usual scare-mongerer. Couldn't find it again on Sciencedaily, did you? If so, send me the link. Think I read it there when it first came out. Sounds like at least a toxicologist responded, maybe old-schooler.

Comments on other sites were the usual fare.

Yes, we better keep in good shape -sometimes it's a swift current!