Oakland, CA — Muir Glen, a subsidiary of General Mills, will be switching to metal can packaging that does not contain bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that numerous food and product makers have moved away from.
In its recent Corporate Social Responsibility 2010 report, General Mills states that it believes BPA is safe, but goes on to say, "However, we know that some of our consumers would like us to pursue alternatives - and we are working with our can suppliers and can manufacturers to develop and test alternative linings that do not use BPA."
Both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency have expressed concern over the chemical and started to take action to study it further.
BPA has been connected to a range of health concerns like cancer, developmental problems and reproductive issues in laboratory tests. Some states and cities in the U.S. have banned its use in certain products, primarily in items for young children that will come into contact with food. Many companies have voluntarily removed BPA from their products or required suppliers to provide BPA-free options.
The chemical is found in numerous products, but its use in hard plastics and plastic liners in metal cans have been of primary concern because in those cases it can more easily leach into foods and, in turn, into people's bodies.
General Mills says in its report that it has not found BPA alternatives that will work with all of the different foods that it packages in cans, but it has found an alternative that works with tomatoes.
Starting with the next tomato harvest, all Muir Glen tomato products will come in cans with BPA-free liners.
Other companies have found BPA-free solutions, most notably Eden Foods, which has been using BPA-free cans for all of its bean products since 1999. Others that are packaging some or all of their products without BPA include Edward & Sons and seafood companies Wild Planet, Eco Fish and Oregon's Choice.
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