‘Chemical threat persists in food and beverage packaging’
Fourteen of the largest public packaged food and beverage companies still use the controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in their packaging despite studies linking the synthetic sex hormone to developmental problems, heart disease, and diabetes, according to the authors of Seeking Safer Packaging, a new report by investors Green Century Capital Management and As You Sow.
BPA is used in can linings and some hard clear plastic containers. The chemical is known to leach from packaging into food and beverages.
In March, rising consumer concern about BPA led the six largest baby bottle manufacturers to announce that they would phase out BPA from all bottles sold in the U.S.
“Given the number of studies linking BPA to serious diseases and developmental disorders, its continued use poses unnecessary risks for companies in the packaged food industry, says Amy Galland, research director of As You Sow.
For the report, investors asked 20 publicly traded companies what actions they are taking to respond to concerns regarding BPA. Green Century, an environmentally responsible investment advisory firm and manager of the Green Century Funds, initiated outreach to companies in November 2008. Of the fourteen companies that responded, the report found that all but four had failed to develop safer alternatives.
Seeking Safer Packaging awarded top scores to Hain Celestial, Heinz and Nestle for researching and testing alternatives to BPA, and because they plan to phase out the chemical in some products.