Monday, July 5, 2010

Bisphenol A

We are asked pretty regularly if our steel cans contain Bisphenol A (or BPA). The answer is yes.

BPA had been considered a safe lining for cans for the last 50 – 60 years. New research is saying that is not the case.

The can manufacturers have taken the position that BPA is safe. When our canners send me their latest press releases stating that, I respond telling them they are on the wrong side of the issue.

Right now, a commercially viable alternative to existing BPA free cans does not exist. There isn’t a large supply available.

The biggest issue for the commercial canners, as I understand it, is taking BPA out of the cans is going to reduce the shelf life. I tell the canners, “fine.”

We, like everyone else in the Natural/Organic industry, are looking at alternatives. On our canned beans, for example, we are looking at aseptic packaging.

We also were told by our Pate cat food manufacturer that there is no BPA in aluminum cans, so our Pate cat foods are BPA free.

In the next few months, we will have another part of our product line switched from cans with BPA to BPA free cans. We will, of course, announce that on our web site.

I know it isn’t the answer consumers are looking for, but the can industry in the United States is not in a position to stop producing cans with BPA or to switch to an alternative. Their customers – the food manufacturers and big chain store retailers, are, generally speaking, not willing to accept the price increases that will come with using BPA free cans. When one of the “big boys” announces that they are ditching cans with BPA, it is my opinion that the entire can industry will move in that direction. But we are not there yet.

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