New report finds toxics in cans; industry responds

By Juliana Bilowich
Public Health Organizer

A public health concern this hazardous deserves some media attention. Thanks to Fox News 45 and WBAL for getting out the word about toxics in food cans: Over 60% of cans tested from across the country – including Maryland – contain the toxic chemical Bisphenol A.

In response to the new report, can manufacturers and retailers had this to say:

  1. “People don’t eat the cans.” Toxic chemicals used in packaging have been shown to leech into the food. We shouldn't have to worry that food packaging could be putting our health at risk.
  2. “The levels of BPA are too small to be medically-relevant.” Unfortunately, BPA is found in so many consumer products that these low levels accumulate into significant amounts. The fact that 93% of Americans have detectable levels of BPA in their pee suggests that we are consistently exposed and re-exposed to the chemical. Yuck! We shouldn't be putting dangerous chemicals into products we use every day and consumers should have the tools they need to avoid toxic chemicals, like BPA.
  3. “We’ll phase out BPA from our cans.” That's great! Last week both Campbell's and DelMonte committed to phase out BPA from their cans. Unfortunately, neither company committed to an official chemical policy that ensures safer alternatives or committed to label their cans to inform the public of what chemicals they will contain. Some BPA alternatives, like carcinogenic vinyl chloride, are not safe, so while we applaud the companies for their efforts to move away from BPA, we think then can do better.

Safe food packaging matters. Tell Campbell’s to eliminate and safely substitute BPA from food cans.

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