THE world’s most iconic soup brand has pledged to remove a controversial ingredient from its products.
March 29, 201612:46pm http://www.news.com.au
While opinions remain divided over whether it’s a dangerous toxin or a harmless preservative, Campbell Soup Co will stop using the chemical Bisphenol A in its canned products by the middle of next year, in response to an impassioned consumer campaign.
Bisphenol A, also known as BPA, is used to make the epoxy-resin linings of metal food cans.
It is an endocrine disrupter that has been linked with cancer, brain damage and hormonal problems, but the level of safe use is in dispute.
Some scientific studies support the argument that low doses are okay, while others argue that low doses may be even more harmful.
The US-based Breast Cancer Fund, which lobbied hard for BPA to be removed, says it’s linked to breast and prostate cancer, infertility, early puberty in girls, type-2 diabetes, obesity and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Both the US Food and Drug Administration and Food Standards Australia New Zealand maintain that BPA is safe at the current levels used in food, but activists have labelled it a ‘child killer’.
The chemical, which research has shown the female sex hormone oestrogen, can affect the body’s endocrine system.
Its effects are often more pronounced in children and infants, leading to the chemical being phased out of use in baby bottles in Australia.
Now, after more than 40 years of using BPA to line its canned soups, gravies and convenience meals, Campbell Soup Co has began switching to alternative packaging.
About 75 per cent of Campbell’s soups will be sold in non-BPA cans by the end of this year, according to the company, which maintains that BPA is among the world’s safest options.
“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 most instances, Campbell is trying to replace BPA with acrylic and polyester options.
Campbell’s began studying alternatives to BPA in 2012, after a six-month activist campaign targeted the company, sending more than 70,000 letters demanding a change.
“Parents want to be sure when they serve Campbell’s Soup to their kids that it is free of toxic chemicals that contribute to disease,” Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, Executive Director of Healthy Children Healthy World, said at the time.