Seven-billion pounds of the chemical Bisphenol A, or BPA, are produced every year and used in all sorts of products-Including clear plastic bottles and food-can liners.
Due to growing health concerns, BPA has been restricted in some states, and in Canada, too.
And while there are no federal restrictions on BPA in food packaging, the government has set a guideline for safe exposure.
But Consumer Reports says it's not strong enough-and in fact, it's calling for a ban on BPA in food packaging.
"There are more recent studies, showing that exposure to low doses of BPA are associated with a wide range of adverse health effects, including various cancers, diabetes, and heart disease." said Consumer Reports Urvashi Rangan.
Consumer Reports tested a variety of foods for BPA-three samples of 24 different products-mostly canned.
Included were ones from Campbell's, Del Monte, Green Giant, Hormel, Progresso, and others.
Outside lab tests found many of the samples contained BPA levels that were higher, often much higher, than the level Consumer Reports' experts believe could pose a safety risk-especially to children and developing fetuses.
"It's important to note, levels of BPA can vary significantly-even in the products we tested. Our tests were a small snapshot of the marketplace, so you can't draw conclusions about any one type of product or any particular brand. But there are things you can do that may help minimize exposure." said Rangan.
Ideally, choose fresh food over canned whenever possible. And for products children drink a lot of, consider alternatives, such as powdered infant formulas and bottled or boxed juice.
The Food and Drug Administration is re-assessing the safety of BPA and is expected to announce the results of that review by the end of November.
Meanwhile, the food industry has been waging a fight against BPA regulations and is backed up by the American Chemistry Council, which claims scientific evidence clearly supports the safety of BPA.
Consumer Reports disagrees, saying BPA use should be banned from any packaging that comes in contact with food.