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Mar 062012
 

From Green Right Now Reports

Campbell’s Soup lovers, who may not love that the world’s largest soup maker uses the harmful chemical BPA in its can linings, may soon be able to rekindle their love affair with the company’s immortal chicken noodle (or tomato or cream of mushroom) soup.

Andy Warhol's famous homage to Campbell's Soup.

Campbell’s has announced that it will indeed it replace BPA with a safer alternative in its epoxy steel can liners, as soon as it finds “feasible alternatives, according to a report in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

That could be pretty soon, because the Journal Sentinel also reports that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is poised to possibly ban BPA in all food packaging by the end of March.

Other food companies already have switched to non-BPA can liners as public concerns about the problems caused by BPA have spread. Eden Foods, Muir Glen and Trader Joe’s and several other brands have found BPA alternatives.  Eden Foods has been BPA-free since before it was fashionable.

BPA, or bispenol A, is an endocrine disruptor, which has been shown to trigger reproductive and behavioral problems and interfere with the healthy development of infants and growing children. BPA studies have reported that it produces feminizing effects in young boys and may contribute to early-onset puberty. Studies also have linked it to breast and prostate cancer and heart disease.

The chemical, a synthetic estrogenic compound, is used in a variety of food packaging, especially where a slick surface is desired. It also is used to make polycarbonate, a hard, clear plastic. The discovery of BPA in baby bottles and drinking containers in the mid 2000′s, led to Canada and the European Union banning BPA from baby products. In the US, several states passed bills banning BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups.

BPA studies show it leaches from plastic, especially when heated. In food cans lined with BPA-containing resin, leaching can be instigated by acidic foods, like tomatoes or tomato soup.

An Environmental Working Group spokesperson says Campbell’s intentions to clear out BPA will encourage all food companies to abandon the chemical in packaging.

“When the world’s largest soup maker moves to remove BPA from its cans, that sends a signal to the rest of the food and beverage industry to do the same,” said Jane Houlihan, a senior vice president for research for the EWG. “Unlike some of its competitors, Campbell’s has listened to its customers’ concerns. It plans to remove this toxic chemical, which is associated with a very long list of serious health problems, many of which are on the rise among Americans.”

Those customers spoke en masse as part of a campaign called Cans Not Cancer launched last fall by the Breast Cancer Fund and Healthy Child Healthy World.

Participants lobbed in more than 70,000 letters to Campbells, asking the company to find alternative can linings.

“I applaud our friends and colleagues at the Breast Cancer Fund and Healthy Child Healthy World for helping to keep the pressure up, using the power of grassroots advocacy to change markets,” Houlihan said.