Is Safe In Small Quantities Really Just Unsafe? BPA in Pet Food Cans

Is Safe In Small Quantities Really Just Unsafe? BPA in Pet Food Cans

This morning, while rushing around getting ready to go to work, and playing a game of keep away between my dogs and my breakfast toast, I caught pieces of the news. I am a multi-tasker like that….I am woman, hear me roar. Roar! But on this morning, it was more of a… roar? Maybe more like…roar. Roar, period. I was a little befuddled when the be-dazzlingly beautiful and happy news correspondent reported that “BPA (Bisphenol A) found in most food containers and packaging is safe in small quantities!” Really? When was the last time you went out and picked a ripe BPA laden can off of a tree? Is ‘safe in small quantities’ really just unsafe? How about BPA in pet food cans?

Is 'Safe In Small Quantities' Really Just 'Unsafe'? BPA in Pet Food Cans, yep it's a thing so check out what we've learned. By Rebecca Sanchez, The Pet Lifestyle Guru at MattieDog

What’s In the Lining of Canned Pet Food?

While the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes the use of BPAs in the lining of cans of food for human and pet consumption, they also readily acknowledge ‘additional research is underway to enhance our understanding of BPA.’ I’m not sure about you, but for me, I’d rather be sure. And, I’m not an alarmist, I have a long history of working with clinical studies to advance health. Here’s an interesting fact about BPA – infant advocacy groups, product makers and the like, mostly through self-imposed governance, abandoned the use of BPA-based materials in baby bottles, sippy cups, and infant formula packaging. When abandonment happens, the FDA is not required to amend it’s safety determination – more so, it can continue by discarding the data submitted by these groups. But why would infant product manufacturers abandon BPA? And why is it still found in most pet food cans?

BPA Risks

BPA is an industrial chemical that is used to make polycarbonate plastics and resins, and is used as coating in food packaging, including pet food cans. What does BPA really do? The fact is, we don’t truly know as there are no definitive human-based studies as of yet – only on animals (yup..you read that right). In 2010 the FDA altered its position on BPA, while maintaining safety at low levels, they expressed “some concern” about the potential effects of BPA on the brain, behavior, and prostate glands in fetuses, infants, and young children as their bodies are still developing and less efficient at eliminating substances from their systems. Same is true of pets, particularly puppies and kitties.  Common shared concern for BPA include hormone level altering, endocrine disruption, heart, brain and behavior problems, and cancer. These are not maladies that I want my fuzzy ones to encounter – BPA in pet food cans is concerning.

Is 'Safe In Small Quantities' Really Just 'Unsafe'? BPA in Pet Food Cans, yep it's a thing so check out what we've learned. By Rebecca Sanchez, The Pet Lifestyle Guru at MattieDog

Safe In Small Quantities

Really, this language, to me, seems finely crafted to safeguard manufacturers against lawsuits from the user of said product. Akin to liquor, over-the-counter drugs, trans fats, and on it goes – you’re smart people, you get my gist. There is no ‘bright line’ that separates the safe from non-safe – it’s a blurred line. And just like the 2013 Robin Thick and Miley Cyrus blurred lines twerk-a-thon, it can become a hot mess real fast and without much warning. At what point does ‘safe in small quantities’ become ‘somewhat questionable in quantities a bit over small?’ Using the liquor scenario, one glass of wine may be fine for me and yet make you a bit tipsy. Pets are the same – comprised of atoms, molecules, cells, tissues, organs, and organ systems…all similar to one another and yet uniquely and metabolically different. Clearly, there’s no knowing with certainty, so why not try living a chemical free, healthy life?

Is 'Safe In Small Quantities' Really Just 'Unsafe'? BPA in Pet Food Cans, yep it's a thing so check out what we've learned. By Rebecca Sanchez, The Pet Lifestyle Guru at MattieDog

How To Steer Clear of BPA in Pet Food Cans

Quite simply, seek out products that are BPA-free. While it isn’t as hard as it once was, it can still be challenging. Make it a game. Educate yourself and do your research. Look for pet food cans and packages that advertise that they are BPA-free. If you want to be sure, call the manufacturer. Truly, the best thing to do if you, like me and my pups, want to be BPA free is to minimize, with a goal to eliminate, cans and plastics from your lifestyle. I want to be ‘that girl!’ No, not the 1970’s That Girl starring Marlo Thomas (too far back for you…okay kiddos, how about if you insert a ‘who’s that girl’ from Madonna reference if you need to)!

What’s Next?

Safe in small quantities? Could be and could also not be. I’d rather err on the side of caution when it comes to the health of my fuzzy pups – and maybe that makes me a safety freak – but hey, I’ll be Miss Safety Freak 2016 and that title better come with a sash and a crown! In all seriousness, we’re all learning together – and we should all share what we learn, and what we don’t know or are curious about, let’s all have the confidence to ask questions where answers can help us expand our knowledge. No one has all of the answers – not even me and I’m The Pet Lifestyle Guru! Heck, life is a journey and it’s traveling through it together that allows us to have the best journey possible! If you have a topic that’s important to you, I’d love to hear from you – we can research it together and share what we find with my readers.

Thanks for reading, and until next time – take care and keep on lovin’ your dog!

Rebecca Sanchez, The Pet Lifestyle Guru at MattieDog

 

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50 Comments

  1. Multi-taskers unite!
    I too listened with interest as my morning news discussed the topic of BPA in canned food. And I have to wonder about the “Safe in small quantities” as well. I will be looking more closely at packaging and labels of my products.
    Kelly recently posted…Ticks and Your PetsMy Profile

    Reply
    • It was a fascinating listen – so factual and yet saying nothing. Safe in small quantities has a tipping point, and that can be through a one-time use or cumulative… but what’s important is that you don’t know. So, it’s a gamble. Thanks for stoping by – and keeping on multi-tasking like a rock star!
      MattieDog recently posted…Is Safe In Small Quantities Really Just Unsafe? BPA in Pet Food CansMy Profile

      Reply
  2. Great post. Yet another reason I’m glad for the choices I’ve made. What I always ask when I hear “safe in small quantities” is “what about build up over time?” How long does it take a system (human or dog) to rid itself of the chemicals and what type of damage is being done to the liver during this process.

    I’m kind of a closeted alarmist. I ask the questions and I’m typically disappointed in the response. I asked questions about carrageenan gum at SuperZoo last year and the responses were so condescending that I couldn’t help but be amused.

    So I’m not surprised to read that people would say that BPA isn’t a big deal “in small quantities.” This may be true, but what long term studies have been done to assure us of this?

    Reply
    • You are exactly right – cumulative impact removes the word small, replacing it with growing and then it will be completely replaced with “not good for you.” The liver is a precious organ and hepatic toxicity is serious. I applaud you in searching for answers – you keep up the good work, you are one of my heroes!
      MattieDog recently posted…Is Safe In Small Quantities Really Just Unsafe? BPA in Pet Food CansMy Profile

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  3. When will the day come that companies will stop using toxic chemicals that jeopardize our health and our pets health? I don’t buy that BPA in small quantities is safe. Great article!

    Reply
    • The US, while very advanced, also is quite conservative in this matter – many other countries outright ban the use of BPA. I like to also research data out of Australia, it often has forward thinking on these matters. Thank you so much for your support and for stopping by!
      MattieDog recently posted…Is Safe In Small Quantities Really Just Unsafe? BPA in Pet Food CansMy Profile

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  4. Call me crazy, but I’m kind of thinking that maybe the FDA could wait until that additional research is completed before authorizing the use of BPAs in can linings. Frankly, I’d rather they already have an ‘enhanced’ understanding of things before they approve them. Then again, I’m a little nutty that way. 😉 Also, I hate the saying “safe in small quantities’! Vague much, FDA?!?

    Reply
  5. I understand why so many people are homesteading and feeding their dogs raw food, it is pretty frightening how manufacturers (and policy makers) care so little about their customers.

    Reply
  6. I try to look for brands that have BPA-free cans. Mr. N gets very little canned food though. Only on special occasions or when I need something to heat up.

    Reply
    • That’s great – it’s the best approach, to minimize cans and plastics!

      Reply
  7. “Safe in small quantities” tells me that I have to be on guard about how much I consume, and who wants to worry about that? It’s easier just to avoid it altogether. I find myself turning away from plastics and cans whenever possible.

    Thanks for this great information!

    Reply
  8. Very interesting, and I admit, not something I have put much thought into. .but now I’ll be looking at our canned food labels!

    Reply
  9. Very interesting post ! In Switzerland, BPA is told “safe in small quantity” as well. Switzerland has a “wait and see” attitude for the moment, but France decided to forbid BPA in 2015 for food containers. Purrs

    Reply
  10. Oh wow! I think it’s probably better to avoid it, too! Thanks for posting about this!

    Reply
  11. I tend to be over-cautious when it comes to the cats food, and look at everything. Great post!

    Reply
  12. This is so scary. If it’s been removed from baby products, why is it ok for fur-baby product? Thanks for sharing. I’ll take a good look at the canned food we feed the girls. Great post!
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

    Reply
  13. Safe in small quantities is a red flag for me – its either safe – or not – nothing in the middle

    Reply
    • We tend to agree – while it is good to have flexibility and options, when it comes to the term “safe” in small quantities we think of the organs and when is it unsafe and would we be able to tell. The answer unfortunately is no, as we’ve learned from humans.

      Reply
  14. I like to read 100% all natural ingredients on my bag of pre-mix before I add my own meat and oil. There are so many laws surrounding pet food that are too lax for my comfort. Thanks for a great post.

    Reply
    • So very true – the lack of attention paid to pet food is quite astounding!

      Reply
  15. We have canned EN on-hand for upset stomachs as it’s easier than cooking a bland diet sometimes – thanks for this as I’ll look tonight about the lining on the cans. I didn’t even think about this!

    Reply
    • Awesome – thank you for stopping by!

      Reply
  16. Great post about something so many people think about for themselves, but it should also be extended to our pets!

    Reply
    • So true – we think about it for humans but not for pets!

      Reply
  17. I’m always the killjoy on these posts! I imagine “safe in small quantities” means that it is safe in amounts below the level where we start to see toxic reactions. The problem is in the transparency. The FDA expects us to relinquish all knowledge and control of regulation to them, but then they aren’t transparent about the criteria they use to determine safety.

    I agree I’d feel better about this if they gave me a hard number with some science behind it.

    Reply
    • Not killjoy at all! Technically “safe in small quantities” is the legal safe consumption point, however, the FDA cannot regulate cumulative consumption – this is where we are expected to know how to manage it. The problem is, most people do not have enough information. That’s what this post hopes to do – share knowledge and to inform!

      Reply
  18. When they say “safe in small quantities”, that says to me not safe at all. It’s pretty scary the things that are in our food, cans, etc that are suppose to be safe. Awareness is key, great post!!

    Reply
  19. Certainly worrying knowing it is probably not safe in bigger than small quantities. Will have to do more research on this.

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  20. My concern is what they consider “small quantities.” Thanks for the information.

    Reply
  21. Things like this are so frustrating! I’m not an alarmist either, but I do like to use logic in every day life. “Small quantities” of BPA in pet food cans ends up being a lot of BPA in your pet’s system if they eat from those cans for every meal, every day.

    Reply
  22. It is so important to stay on top of these things to make sure our beloved pets are safe.

    Reply
  23. If in doubt, don’t! This is great information – and great comments. Thanks, I’m pinning.

    Reply
  24. Wow. Really important information. It makes you wonder if anything safe doesn’t it?
    How much is too much? It makes me thankful that I don’t buy food in cans, but then we will probably be hearing negatives about the bags too.
    Maureen recently posted…Are You Enough Of A Companion For Your Dog?My Profile

    Reply

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