Update on BPA Use and Production

Update on BPA Use and Production

Thomas Clarke

The post on March 18, Steps Are Being Taken by Various Entities to Reduce Consumer Exposure to BPA, noted that Campbell's was planning on removing BPA from its soup cans. Other companies are also taking steps to decrease, minimize, or eliminate BPA from their food storage containers.

As noted in a recent report by U.S.D.A. in February 2012:

1. Dow Chemical and Bayer AG produce the bulk of BPA in the world.

2. Several U.S. companies have already started to remove BPA from its food packaging, such as Hain Celestial, ConAgra, H.J. Heinz, and, to a lesser extent, General Mills and Nestle. Other U.S. food companies, such as Eden Foods, Muir Glen, Edward & Son, Trader Joe's, Vital Choice, Wild Planet Foods, Oregon's Choice Gourmet, and Eco Fish, among others, also package all or part of their product in BPA-free containers.

3. BPA is found on about 10% of plastic containers (those made with polycarbonate) of the U.S. Tupperware brand. None of Tupperware's children products contains BPA.

4. Most, if not all canned drinks and canned foods, as well as many drinks and food in plastic containers, are in contact with BPA.

5. The primary function of BPA is to strength polycarbonate plastics that would otherwise be proned to crack when impacted. It protects metal food containers from corrosion from contact with water or acidic foods (e.g., fruit juice), and is widely used to protect metal tops on jars.

6. A number of substitutes for BPA are being developed, including some derived from corn.

7. The food industry has been reluctant to embrace alternatives because of concern that, several years hence, alternatives may be found to be toxic.

The report can be found at http://gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/Proposed%20Bisphenol%20A%20ban%20in%20food%20packaging%20would%20mean%20impacts%20on%20U.S_Paris_France_2-6-2012.pdf.

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