Food companies ranked on progress in seeking substitutes for, phasing out BPA in packaging; Hain Celestial, ConAgra Foods and Heinz all received 'A' ratings for using BPA-free can linings for some products, committing to complete phase-out

LOS ANGELES , October 14, 2011 () – Boston-based Green Century Capital Management Inc. and San Francisco-based environmental advocacy group As You Sow recently released a report ranking food and beverage companies on their use of the chemical bisphenol A in the lining of their packaging, Food & Beverage Packaging reported Sept. 29.

Melville, New York-based Hain Celestial Group Inc., producer of organic food products, and Omaha, Nebraska-based ConAgra Foods Inc., as well as Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Co. all received an A rating because they use can linings free of BPA for some of their products. These companies have also committed to a timeline for phasing out BPA from all their product’s packaging.

Minneapolis-based General Mills Inc. received a B+ rating due to its promise to start using BPA-free can linings for its Muir Glen brand of tomatoes.

Nestle SA performed well on transparency and its commitment to test packaging alternatives, as well as its promise to rid its packaging of BPA over the next few years.

Whole Foods Market IP LP scored a D+ because the Austin, Texas-based retailer is currently seeking alternatives to BPA-free marketing. Issaquah, Washington-based Costco Wholesale Corp. received a D rating because it is not actively seeking an alternative, but rather is waiting for the development of a readily available substitution.

The study concluded by noting that significant progress had been made toward brings alternatives to BPA epoxy can linings to market. Some companies have taken the lead by investing in finding alternatives, but others--some of the largest companies--are showing little interest in developing substitutes or phasing out their use of BPA.

Finally, at the bottom of the list were several major brand owners, including The Coca-Cola Co., Kraft Foods Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., all of whom received an F, most of whom are making some effort to find alternatives, but have made no firm commitments to eliminating BPA-lined cans.

The primary source of this article is Food & Beverage Packaging, Deerfield, Illinois, on Sept. 29, 2011.

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