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Baltimore, MD: Concerned students and local health advocates joined a national movement this week urging Safeway to stop selling food cans containing toxic bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical linked to breast and prostate cancer, infertility, and type-2 diabetes. After talking to shoppers outside the Charles Village Safeway in Baltimore on Wednesday, advocates and students met with the store manager to return toxic food cans and discuss solutions.
Like other leading food retailers like Campbell’s and Del Monte, Safeway has pledged to remove BPA from its food packaging. However, a recent report found the toxic chemical in 50% of Safeway store-brand cans, and in 67% of cans overall.
Maryland PIRG and others across the country are challenging Safeway and others to adopt a strong chemical policy and commit to safely substituting BPA in food packaging. Safeway’s parent company Albertsons operates 2,230 stores nationally, including 75 in Maryland.
“Safeway can improve our health and transform the marketplace by committing to selling canned foods free of harmful chemicals,” said Hannah LeManske, Public Health Intern with Maryland PIRG. “If other leading grocery retailers can eliminate toxic BPA in canned food, so can Safeway.”
Studies have demonstrated the capacity of BPA to migrate into food and then into people, raising concerns about exposures to biologically relevant levels of BPA. The report also found regrettable BPA substitutes in cans, such as carcinogenic PVC and styrene-based resins.
“We shouldn’t have to worry that everyday products can unknowingly put our health at risk,” said Juliana Bilowich, Public Health Organizer with Maryland PIRG. “In the absence of strong regulations, retailers should step up and safely substitute BPA from all food packaging.”
This week’s events were held in partnership with the national Mind the Store campaign, a project of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. Since the report release, over 100,000 people across the country have signed petitions calling on grocery retailers to ban and safely substitute toxic BPA.
“The nation’s biggest grocery chains Kroger and Albertsons have the power and a moral responsibility to get toxic chemicals like BPA out of canned foods,” said Mike Schade, Mind the Store Campaign Director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. “It’s the right thing to do for our health.”
While not all Safeway’s food cans contain toxic BPA, health advocates are asking Safeway to work with its suppliers to completely phase out this unnecessary dangerous chemical and develop a comprehensive chemicals policy.
For More Information: Juliana Bilowich * 410-467-9389 * email@example.com
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Maryland PIRG is an independent, nonpartisan group that works for consumers and the public interest. Through research, public education and outreach, we act as counterweights to the influence of powerful special interests that threaten our health, safety or well-being. We serve thousands of members across Maryland and beyond.
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