The Breast Cancer Fund recognizes that replacing BPA in canned food poses some unique challenges. Finding safe and easy-to-manufacture alternatives may not be possible for a few more years.
However, as the canned food industry seeks alternatives to BPA, the Cans Not Cancer campaign is calling on manufacturers to commit to the following actions in order to best protect public health:
- Commit to eliminating BPA from all food packaging and establish timelines and benchmarks for the transition to safer alternatives.
Consumers are increasingly demanding that food packaging be free of harmful chemicals like BPA. We call on manufacturers to commit to eliminating BPA from food packaging and to set concrete timelines with significant benchmarks for achieving this goal.
- Establish a process for determining the safest alternative to BPA in canned food and be transparent about that process as well as the alternatives used.
It is not enough to remove BPA from food packaging. Manufacturers must also be transparent about alternatives that are being used as well as the process used for evaluating the safety of those alternatives. We call on manufacturers to complete a full hazard assessment of the chemicals used in food packaging before it is marketed to ensure that the safety of the packaging.
- Label all chemicals used in can liners, including BPA.
Consumers have the right to know, at the point of purchase, if the cans they are buying contain BPA or other harmful chemicals. We call on manufacturers to clearly label the chemicals used to produce their cans, including the use of a BPA epoxy liner, in order for consumers to make informed purchasing decisions.
- Shift packaging where possible.
Safer packaging methods are currently available for many types of foods (e.g. glass containers, paperboard-based packaging, etc.). Manufacturers should commit to shifting packaging to safer methods where possible until a safe replacement for BPA in cans is found.
- Control supply chain to ensure BPA and other problematic chemicals aren’t in food.
It isn’t enough to use just BPA-free packaging. Manufacturers must examine and control their supply chain so as to ensure that BPA and other chemicals linked to disease do not end up in food. Ensuring the equipment used in food production and packaging are free from harmful chemicals is an important step in creating safe food and food packaging for the public.