Bisphenol-A—or BPA—is an important component of protective coatings used widely in metal food packaging. It has long helped preserve food and maintain its nutritional value, wholesomeness and quality.
Most canned food and drink products on the market today use BPA in the can lining or can lid.
Scientific and governmental bodies worldwide have examined the science and concluded that the weight of evidence supports the safety of BPA, including comprehensive risk assessments in Japan and in the EU. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has repeatedly affirmed the safety of BPA in food packaging, most recently in 2014 after a four-year review of more than 300 studies. Also in 2014, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) reaffirmed its 2010 opinion that the health risk of BPA for all populations – including fetuses, infants, young children and adults – is low.
General Mills uses can coatings that comply fully with all applicable global requirements for safe use in food contact materials. While global food safety agencies continue to affirm the safety of BPA, we know that some consumers would prefer alternatives – and we work with can suppliers and manufacturers to understand the development and testing of linings that do not use BPA.
While alternatives have not yet been identified for all types of foods, we did identify a safe, viable alternative for our Muir Glen tomato products which are now sold in cans that do not use BPA.
As viable alternatives prove safe and effective for other products, we expect can suppliers and the food industry—in response to consumer interest—to convert to alternatives that do not incorporate BPA.
Any alternative must be as safe – or even safer. Safety cannot be compromised. As scientific and governmental bodies worldwide have studied BPA and concluded that the weight of the evidence supports its safety – that sets the bar appropriately high. It also explains why any search for alternatives must be patient, thorough and sound.