Campbell Soup Co., the world’s largest soup maker, announced this week that it will phase out the use of Bisphenol A in its canned products by 2017. The chemical commonly known as BPA has been used for 40 years in the lining of the company’s canned products including soups, gravies and broths.
BPA has been used in plastics and resins since the 1960s. In 2011 BPA was one of the highest volume chemicals produced in the world with an estimated 10 billion pounds produced for manufacturing polycarbonate plastic.
But research has linked BPA to a host of health problems including cancer, obesity and hormonal problems. The concerns prompted the Food and Drug Administration to ban BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups in 2010.
In recent years, studies have concluded that the current consumer exposure rate to BPA poses no health threat. But consumer concern has continued to pressure manufacturers to get rid of the controversial chemical. Late last year ConAgra announced it would also begin using BPA-free cans.
In its announcement, Campbell said it believes BPA is one of the world’s safest packaging options. Nevertheless, the company has pledged that 75 percent of its soups will be sold in BPA-free cans by the end of this year. Instead of using BPA, the company said it is trying to use acrylic or polyester options.