A blog set out to explore, archive & relate plastic pollution happening world-wide, while learning about on-going efforts and solutions to help break free of our addiction to single-use plastics & sharing this awareness with a community of clean water lovers everywhere!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Kroger joins effort to block use of BPA

Posted in The Columbus Dispatch May 11, 2011 by Tracy Turner

Having made sure that BPA is gone from the baby products it sells, Kroger now is ridding the chemical from cans it uses in its store brands and the paper on which its receipts are printed.

Bisphenol A, or BPA, is a chemical used to harden certain plastics and has been associated with a variety of health problems. Kroger plans to have it completely off its register tape by the end of the year and will remove it from the linings of its store-brand canned goods "as quickly as possible."

The move was based on customer feedback and emerging concerns regarding the safety of BPA, said Kroger spokesman Keith Dailey.

"While there is no conclusive scientific evidence that minimal exposure to BPA in can linings poses any risks to consumers, Kroger has begun a process that we believe will result in the removal of BPA in the linings of canned goods in all of our corporate brand items," he said. "Customers are interested in the issue and what the company is doing on the issue."

BPA has been used for years in bottles, canned-food linings and numerous household products. Companies use it to guard against contaminants and to extend a product's shelf life.

But some studies have shown that BPA can leach into food from the cans. In fact, 93 percent of consumers have detectable levels of BPA in their bodies, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A study this month found that exposure to the chemical during fetal growth affects the development of reproductive systems and, in babies, can lead to neurological problems.

Other studies have linked BPA exposure to breast and prostate cancer, infertility, obesity, early puberty in girls and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

As a result, retailers and manufacturers are taking a second look at the chemical, and some are moving to rid their products of BPA.

At least 26 percent of Coca-Cola shareholders recently voted to pressure the company to remove the chemical from its soda cans. But the company said it would be premature to stop using BPA because the science isn't there to support such a move.

And at least 20 states have banned or are considering banning BPA in certain instances. Maine has banned the chemical in reusable food and beverage containers, and Oregon is considering a ban on BPA in baby bottles and training, or "sippy," cups. Connecticut is considering a ban on the chemical in receipt paper.

Giant Eagle is "closely monitoring findings related to BPA," spokesman Dan Donovan said in an email. "At this time, the FDA is not recommending that families change the use of infant formula or foods," he said. "As such, we have no ... plans to change current packaging of our products, nor our register receipt paper."

A Meijer spokesman was unable to say whether the company has considered making changes in its BPA use. Kroger's move affects its private-label brands, which include Kroger, Value Brand, Private Selection, Comforts, Mirra, Active Lifestyle and Fresh Selections.

The grocer's decision could spur other retailers to take a second look at BPA, said David J. Livingston, an independent grocery-store analyst.

"I think other grocers are certainly going to take notice of this," he said. "But is Kroger just doing this as a way to assure the public?

"The bottom line is if it makes customers happy to have BPA removed from the products they buy, then Kroger is doing what it can to make customers happy. This stuff could be perfectly safe, but if the customers think it's not, then Kroger is making this move to keep them happy."



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