A new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology measured BPA levels in various human canned and fresh foods as well as cat and dog foods in cans and plastic packaging. Their findings in 8 pet foods were very low levels of BPA; much lower than the levels of some human foods. But…“Cats, and oftentimes dogs, are much smaller than humans. While low levels of BPA were measured, these levels may produce adverse health effects in cats and dogs as seen in rodent studies.”
BPA or Bisphenol A is a chemical used to line metal cans and is in ‘polycarbonate plastics’ such as baby bottles. “In rodents, BPA is associated with early sexual maturation, altered behavior, and effects on prostate and mammary glands. In humans, BPA is associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and male sexual dysfunction in exposed workers. Food is a major exposure source.”
Eight cat and dog foods were analyzed, three (Friskies Classic Pate Salmon Dinner Cat Food, Alpo Prime Cuts Lamb and Rice in Gravy Dog Food, and Friskies Classic Pate Turkey and Giblets Cat Food) had detectable levels of BPA; from “0.23 to 0.32 ng/g ww”. The paper compared their relatively low levels of BPA found in pet foods to a Japanese study in 2002 which found 13-136 ng/g in Japanese canned cat food and 11-206 ng/g in Japanese dog food (Kang and Kondo 2002).
In comparison to some human foods, the pet foods tested were significantly lower. Some human foods tested as high as 65 ng/g ww. But, don’t let your guard down on BPA. “The detected levels were lower than the majority of BPA levels measured in our human food samples. Further research investigating presence and association of cat and dog food brands, ingredients, and wrappings with BPA may illuminate possible oral BPA exposure for pets. Cats, and oftentimes dogs, are much smaller than humans. While low levels of BPA were measured, these levels may produce adverse health effects in cats and dogs as seen in rodent studies.”
It is certain that further research needs to be done on the effects of BPA on our pets. Perhaps comparative research including canned fed dogs and cats to home prepared fed dogs and cats (no canned or plastic contained foods). Until then, we must base our cautions on the potential risks of BPA on the many existing studies verifying the risk to laboratory animals. Don’t let your guard down on BPA; keep asking your pet food manufacturer what steps they are taking to become BPA free and or if they will guarantee in writing their foods are BPA free.
To read more on this study, visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es102785d, http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/11/peer-reviewed-study-looks-at-bpa-in-us-food/.
Note: The three pet foods that tested positive for detectable levels of BPA – Friskies Classic Pate Salmon Dinner Cat Food, Alpo Prime Cuts Lamb and Rice in Gravy Dog Food, and Friskies Classic Pate Turkey and Giblets Cat Food – are all products of Purina Pet Food; Friskies and Alpo are made by Purina. Purina Representatives have told me on numerous occasions their canned foods are BPA free; no BPA lining.
Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,
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