Coca Cola, Wal-Mart, Kraft, Del Monte, Safeway and Kroger have all failed in their efforts to address the controversial chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in their product packaging, according to rankings conducted by a green investing advisory company. “Most of these companies are exploring substitutes to BPA to some degree but do not commit to phasing out the chemical, are not funding the exploration of substitutes and fail to sufficiently disclose information about how they are addressing consumer concern,” states a report by Green Century Capital Management.
While this may not sound so bad, the problem with the companies that earned an F compared to those that received As and Bs (which include Heinz, ConAgra, General Mills and Nestl?) is that they have become “laggards,” falling behind in an industry that is otherwise adopting the precautionary principle towards BPA. Canada has declared the chemical, which has been linked in some studies to neurological disorders and thyroid function, to be a toxic substance. France and eight U.S. states, including California, Maryland and New York, have banned it in children’s products.
Though the FDA has yet to make a final ruling, it seems companies are self-regulating to avoid any backlash that could lead to reputation damage and reduced sales.