A report ranking private-label manufacturers’ efforts to reduce BPA in food packaging was released this month. The report titled Seeking Safer Packaging 2010 includes producers such as Kellogg, Whole Foods, Costco and Hain Celestial. To gather information the authoring groups submitted a survey to each company asking about its plans to “identify BPA-free packaging options, eliminate BPA from product packaging, and disclose information to consumers and investors.” Companies at the top of the list include Hain Celestial (brands: Health Valley, Earth’s Best, and Westbrae Natural), ConAgra (brands: Chef Boyardee, Hunt’s and Healthy Choice), and H.J. Heinz all of which scored an overall A. At the bottom of the list are the private-labels from Walmart, Kroger, and Safeway all receiving a failing mark for lack of progress. BPA, or bisphenol A, is a toxic chemical that is under scrutiny in the U.S. for its possible effects on human health. The hormone disrupter is a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to prostate cancer, breast cancer and reproductive problems. Below is a a quick summary of the 26 surveyed companies and their rankings.
To read the report in full detail, visit the As You Sow website.
How can you Do Your Part?
Do Your Part by limiting the amounts of canned foods that you eat. One way to do this is prepare meals with fresh produce. BPA leaches into food from the can linings thus fresh produce avoids this issue. Consider buying produce from local vendors, such as farmers markets or CSAs. Investing in local options helps boost your local economy and reduces amount of resources used to ship and transport the food from the farm to your table.