Responding to concern from customers and consumer advocacy groups, Campbell's Soup has announced that it has begun shifting to BPA-free (bisphenol-A) cans. The concern came as a result of research, including a report from the Breast Cancer Fund and a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, further connecting BPA exposure to a number of health risks.
At the onset of criticism over the use of BPA, Campbell's had initially stated that scientific evidence was lacking on the risks to human health from BPA exposure. But the company has changed its position after "monitoring and working on the issue" over the last several years.
Countries including France, China and Canada have taken major steps in regulating or outright banning the controversial compound found commonly in polycarbonate polymers and epoxy resins in plastics such as baby bottles and soda can linings, and even in cash register receipts. BPA is an endocrine disruptor, which mimics estrogen levels in the body, leading to behavioral and neurological issues.
And now, the FDA may be one step closer to deciding on whether or not BPA should be banned in the United States. A petition filed by the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) led to the ruling, which is due to be announced no later than March 31 and could have major consequences for the packaged food and beverage industry.
The recent BPA ban in France has the potential to cost the U.S. tens of millions of dollars in revenue losses as products such as Florida orange juice would not be acceptable in the European country in its current packaging.
According to the USDA, Dow Chemical and Bayar AC manufacturer, virtually all canned foods and beverages are essentially in contact with BPA at some stage in production.
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Image: kevin dooley