Campbell's Announces Plans to Phase out BPA from Cans

By Juliana Bilowich
Public Health Organizer

Tomorrow we are releasing a new report on the use of BPA and other chemicals in canned food linings, including Campbell's. With interesting timing, last night Campbell's announced plans to phase out BPA from all of their cans. Congrats to Campbell's for this announcement, but they should do better by making clear the alternative chemicals that will be used, their plan to disclose them, and their overall plan to ensure their food packaging is safe.

Tomorrow's report, authored by the Breast Cancer Fund and 6 other groups, analyzed the interior linings and lids of nearly 200 canned foods for the presence of Bisphenol A (BPA) and the replacement materials for BPA-based epoxy being used by national brands and retailers, and the extent to which those compa¬nies have studied the safety of these materials. Evidence suggests BPA may contribute to a host of harmful health effects including breast and prostate cancer, infertility, type-2 diabetes, obesity, asthma and attention deficit disorder.

Below are few points from the Breast Cancer Fund in response to the announcement from Campbell's. And here is their page about chemicals in food/food packaging, including BPA and BPA-alternatives.

  • How do we know they will follow through?  Four years ago Campbell’s made a similar promise, yet our report to be released tomorrow found otherwise. 
  • Not everyone benefits from their plan. They did not indicate a timeframe for global phase-out of BPA.  Campbell’s sells in 120 countries around the world, and should make a commitment to making the safest cans possible everywhere they do business.
  • Consumers are left waiting and wondering.  They did not mention plans to label cans that are lined with toxic BPA during the phase out. The report that will be released tomorrow will show why this is important to consumers today. 
  • Informed Substitution is missing. Publicly disclosing the safety of their BPA alternatives is a critically important request from a business and public health perspective.  Consumers want BPA-free food cans that are truly safer, not food cans lined with BPA-alternative chemicals that may be equally or even more toxic.  Tomorrow’s report will also highlight the importance of informed substitution and whether BPA Free means safe.
  • They did not adopt a formal safe packaging chemical policy.  This would guide Campbell’s review and safe substitution of other chemicals of concern in their food packaging.  By doing so, Campbell’s would communicate to the public their commitment to addressing the larger problem of unsafe chemicals in food packaging and continuous improvement.

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