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?
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 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.
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?
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)!
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!
With lub, MattieDog, a little dog making a big impact in this world!®