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May 15, 2011


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I wrote the top three USA food manufacturers and asked what they planned to do about BPA in can liners. I expected the usual dissembling by company representatives, but I did not think I would not receive an answer from two of the companies.

General Mills did answer my inquiry, but the tone of the email was: research shows BPA to be safe. We know people would like us to use something other than BPA, so we are looking into alternatives. Does this seem familiar? It reminds me of "cigarettes are perfectly safe," "global warming is a myth," "fracking does not affect water supplies" and "nuclear power is perfectly safe" . . .


General Mills can coating
Friday, Aprhowsil 22, 2011 9:54 AM
From: "Consumer Services-Help"
To: undisclosed-recipients

Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a critical component of protective coatings widely used in metal food packaging to help preserve food and maintain its nutritional value and quality. Most canned food and beverage products on the market today use BPA in the can lining or can lid.

Scientific and governmental bodies worldwide have examined the science and concluded that the weight of evidence continues to support the safety of BPA, including comprehensive risk assessments in Japan and in the European Union. While studies continue, food safety regulators are not recommending any specific changes or actions in can lining applications, including those using BPA.

General Mills uses can coatings that fully comply with all applicable global requirements for safe use in food contact materials. But we know that some consumers would like us to pursue alternatives – and we are working intensively with our can suppliers and manufacturers to develop and test linings that do not use BPA. While alternatives have not been identified for all types of foods, we did identify a safe, viable alternative for our tomato products under the Muir Glen brand. We began transitioning those to the alternative cans with the fall 2010 tomato harvest.

With other alternatives currently being tested, we are optimistic that new options will be identified in time. When viable alternative prove safe and effective for other products, we would expect can suppliers and the food industry – in response to consumer interest – to convert to alternative coatings


General Mills Consumer Services


It would be great to do an additional campaign to large can manufacturers such as Rexam and industry groups Can Manufacturers Institute.


Thank you for posting the industry responses. They reveal the problems the food industry faces and reminds me that organically grown whole foods must be the basis of our diets, not canned foods. It also highlights that the government is still catching up to the idea that food, industry and health are entwined.

Bekki Shining Bearheart

I make my own pet food-- it is safer and more nutritious, and I don't have to worry about BPA. I am willing to go the extra mile for my companion animals, I find that I don't make nearly as many vet visits as used to. Until the manufacturers are willing to respond to our concerns we have to be proactive and smart about food choices for ourselves an our pets. I am also planning to can a lot of food from my garden this year. If they can't be bothered to care about my health why should I add to their profits?

Alexander Binik, DE-Toxics Institute

Thank you, Breast Cancer Fund, for this campaign. I myself have contacted a number of food companies in the past re this issue. Amy's Organic has consistently been the most responsive, and was the first I'm aware of to devote considerable resources to develop non-BPA alternatives for all their canned products; that's why they're ahead of everyone else.
A couple of caveats, though:
1) Since each company is working on its own alternatives, we don't know what they will instead contain that may eventually prove equally dangerous.
2) BPA is found not only in can linings, but also on the inside surface of food jar lids, from where it can migrate into foods.
So we still have a ways to go, before this particular problem has been solved.


What a great initiative! Another reader disappointed in Trader Joe's, and what's more, they have dropped their campaign against GMOs. It is so important to spread the information in this post. If the EPA and FDA are not capable of keeping us safe, we must protect each other and above all urge our Senators to support the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011, now before Congress, or even join NJ's Frank Lautenberg as a co-sponsor.


Yay Eden Organics. They've always been an amazing stand-up company that I trust :)


BUT WHAT ABOUT PET FOOD CANS? I can make the changes to glass jars instead of cans, but even top quality pet food still comes in a can...


This is why I LOVE Amy's Organics, despite the higher cost. Thank you, Amy! A Facebook User Karinbartimole Karinsuebart

Thank you for gathering all this information for us - it really sheds light on the individual company and how they truly approach their customer - with company talk and pr or truth. I'm especially finding myself disappointed with Trader Joe's, because the response goes against the image they portray. I'd already stopped buying canned goods there, but it's now going to be very hard to be a customer of any products moving forward...

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