Way to go, moms! As moms (and dads) across the country are becoming better educated about potentially harmful chemicals in our food system—think BPA and pink slime—they are using their considerable purchasing power to affect change in the way big food companies do business.
We all saw how the pink slime debacle played out; because of the huge outcry over the use of pink slime in school lunch products, presumably mostly from concerned parents, not only has the government allowed schools to opt out of using pink slime, but the manufacturer has actually shut down production of the meat product at several of its factories.
Bloomberg Businessweek reports that moms are having a similar effect on the canned food industry. "Mothers Trump Regulators," the article crows, noting that while the government has been reluctant to ban or even seriously regulate the use of BPA in canned foods, moms are voting with their wallets and avoiding products like canned soup and pasta, which are two of the products most contaminated with BPA.
According to data compiled by Bloomberg, Campbell's saw its sales drop 2.3 percent last year, and judging by the company's actions, it must think at least part of that drop is due to the controversy over BPA.
Campbell's spokespeople say that the company believes BPA is safe, but that they also recognize that consumers would prefer BPA-free options, which is why they have announced that they're not waiting for regulators and are going to start voluntarily making the switch. ConAgra Foods, which makes Chef Boyardee and Hunts tomato products, has also begun offering BPA-free products.
Unfortunately, the canned beverage industry hasn't shown any indications that they will follow suit. But the Businessweek article suggests that if moms decide to target soda next, those companies may start feeling the pinch as well.