Bisphenol A takes another hit from research. And this time, it is a biggie. A BPA cancer link with canned or tinned food linings…

Research from the department of cell biology at Tufts University, Boston, US has identified a link between bisphenol A (BPA) and breast cancer in rats and humans. The results are the latest in a sequence of bad research findings linking BPA to a number of serious human illnesses, included reproductive dysfunction and cancer.

BPA is used in can linings and in the seals on many beverage closures, such as screwcaps and crown caps. It is also used in making some hard plastics.

The latest research compared the effects of BPA and DES (diethylstilboestrol) on rats. Both xeno-oestrogens, or synthetic hormones, and DES have been shown to cause increased incidence of breast cancer in women who took the drug to prevent miscarriage.

The research shows that there are very similar results from the rat studies, which suggests that the same similarities can be expected between human exposure to BPA and DES.

The research has prompted a call from Professor Ana Soto of the University of Ulster in the United Kingdom, for a total ban on the use of BPA in food packaging. Soto has been researching the health implications of synthetic hormones for over 20 years and was previously at Tufts University where Professor Carlos Sonnenschein headed this latest project.

“There are clear parallels in the studies that we have undertaken that a link exists between foetal exposure to BPA and occurrence of mammary cancer in rats,” Soto told British media. “DES exposure also resulted in increased risk of mammary cancer in rats. Epidemiological evidence has revealed an increased incidence of breast cancer in women exposed to diethylstilboestrol when in the womb; hence, there is no reason to think that BPA would not cause a similar outcome in humans.”

Calling for the ban, Professor Soto drew attention to the recent ban on BPA in food served to under three-year-olds in Canada, France and Denmark and current re-evaluation of BPA risk by both the USFDA and the UK Food Safety Authority.

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