Campbell will stop using the chemical Bisphenol A in its canned products by the middle of next year to reassure consumers worried that the substance may harm their health.
The pledge, announced this week, includes Campbell’s canned products sold in Canada and the U.S.
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It is in response to concerns that BPA raises the risk of cancer, brain damage and hormonal problems.
Both Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintain that BPA is safe at the current levels used in food.
However, a Statistics Canada report last year found most kids and teens have BPA in their urine. The report went on to say that even low levels of BPA exposure “may be associated with negative health outcomes for children, including behavioural problems”
After more than 40 years of using the chemical, Campbell still believes that BPA is among the world's safest packaging options. Nevertheless, the company began studying alternatives to BPA in 2012.
After extensive testing, Campbell says all its soups, gravies, broths and canned pastas are beginning to switch to cans without BPA linings.
Canadian products going BPA-free include Campbell’s condensed soups, Campbell’s broth, as well as Campbell's Healthy Request and Chunky lines.
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About three quarters of Campbell's soups will be sold in non-BPA cans by the end of this year, according to the company.
``Our priority throughout this transition has been, and will continue to be, food safety,'' said Mike Mulshine, Campbell's senior program manager of packaging in the U.S.
In most instances, Campbell is trying to replace BPA with acrylic and polyester options. (Campbell’s products packaged in cartons, pouches and PET bottles do not use BPA.)
Other manufacturers, including the makers of baby bottles, have been abandoning BPA, too.