April 21, 2010

BPA-free Canned Tomatoes Coming Soon

One of the top sources of BPA exposure is canned tomatoes. The high acidity leaches the BPA out of can linings at a higher rate and canned toms were one of the first things I dropped from the shopping list when the BPA scandal broke. So this is good news:
Muir Glen, a subsidiary of General Mills, will be switching to metal can packaging that does not contain bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that numerous food and product makers have moved away from....Starting with the next tomato harvest, all Muir Glen tomato products will come in cans with BPA-free liners.
Sadly, General Mills isn't announced what chemicals are in the new lining. In fact, one of the main reasons the FDA has been so reluctant to ban the chemical is the lack of alternatives (although it's worth pointing out that canning did exist before BPA was discovered) so it would be nice to know what General Mills will be using. Anyway, as happy as I am that there will soon be a BPA-free brand of canned tomato products, I also feel like keeping endocrine disruptors out of consumers' bloodstreams should not represent a competitive advantage.

On a related note, Coca-cola shareholders are voting today on a proposal to require the company to disclose what it's doing on BPA (all soda cans are currently lined with it). It will be interesting to see 1) if it passes and 2) if it turns into the first step in getting Coke to dump BPA.

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Anonymous Maria Jette said...

I've been following this issue recently, and appreciate your posting this info (and agree with your own remarks).

I've been wondering how those linings affect recycling the cans. Have you ever heard anything about that? I wonder if they even ARE recyclable-- you'd think they'd have to separate out the lined cans, and use some process to get that stuff off. And what's unleashed in that process? Alas!

I just bought crushed tomatoes in those boxes, rather than cans-- an Italian brand called Pomi:

Blogger Corey-Jan Albert said...

Chances are that most places recycle the cans freely because the heat required to recycle metal is so high that the content of a lining - like the content of a label - isn't an issue to them. Of course, it should be an issue. Burning BPA into our atmosphere as waste gas isn't a good thing.

Blogger CFB said...

So Tom, what are my packages tomato options? The "boxes"?
- TT

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish you would just put the tomatoes in cartons that have no harmful substances or glass jars like spagetti sauce is in. I won't, and sounds like a lot of others won't, buy your tomatoes if they are in cans no matter whether there is a plastic lining without BPA or not. I am not going to eat something out of a metal can - especially an acidic product like tomatoes. Tin cans could not possibly be healthy for people.

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