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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Response from General Mills Regarding BPA

When I got back this evening, I had a response from General Mills regarding my email (you can read about it here) to them yesterday in which I asked what steps they were taking on the issue of BPA in their can linings.  This was their response....

from:   Consumer Services-Help


date:    Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 4:58 PM

subject   Re: General Mills can coating


Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a critical component of protective coatings widely used in metal food packaging to help preserve food and maintain its nutritional value and quality. Most canned food and beverage 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 continues to support the safety of BPA, including comprehensive risk assessments in Japan and in the European Union. While studies continue, food safety regulators are not recommending any specific changes or actions in can lining applications, including those using BPA.

General Mills uses can coatings that fully comply with all applicable global requirements for safe use in food contact materials. But we know that some consumers would like us to pursue alternatives – and we are working intensively with our can suppliers and manufacturers to develop and test linings that do not use BPA. While alternatives have not been identified for all types of foods, we did identify a safe, viable alternative for our tomato products under the Muir Glen brand. We began transitioning those to the alternative cans with the fall 2010 tomato harvest.

With other alternatives currently being tested, we are optimistic that new options will be identified in time. When viable alternative prove safe and effective for other products, we would expect can suppliers and the food industry – in response to consumer interest – to convert to alternative coatings.

General Mills Consumer Services

Ok, that's progress, I think.  I'm happy to see that they have identified a safe alternative to BPA for their Muir Glen tomatoes.   Before this became an issue for me, Muir Glen was the canned tomato of choice in my household and the product that I miss the most from my canned food boycott.  Now to identify which ones on the shelf are from the 2010 harvest and I will be all set.    If they will continue their pursuit on making their products as safe as they can be for consumers, we will all be on the road to improving our health.  That is the only response that I've gotten so far.  Let's see what happens going forward.

Thanks so much for stopping by! 


  1. very interesting. thanks for sharing!

  2. Surprise that they actually responded. Canned tomatoes are one of the few canned items I rarely buy.

    Thanks for posting it Candace.


  3. Wow it's awesome that they responded! I think this just goes to show that if we talk, companies may actually listen. But if the majority of the country keeps buying crappy frozen food and antibiotic/corn fed meat...then nothing will ever be done.

  4. I am so surprised they actually wrote back to you too and although they haven't done away with it completely at least it is a start. I hate that we as a society have grown so accustomed to just eating whatever companies put in our food. We are the consumers, we are the ones paying the money and if we all boycotted then they would have to change!

  5. That's great you got a response! And at least they are looking for alternatives. I only hope that what they use instead really is safer, you never know what they'll find out in another ten years with the replacement product.

  6. Look at you taking so much initiative! Love it.

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

  7. Excellent! I'm glad they had an educated response, glad their working to improve their products too.

  8. Candace! guess what- i swear I am not lying when I say you won my giveaway for Volunteer Traditions! Yeah! So not rigged either! LOL! I feel out laughing when I picked your number. Anyway, email me your contact info including shipping address and I will forward it on to Mason at Volunteer Traditions. Oh and let me know what state you want but I am pretty sure you are going to pick Louisiana!

  9. I never knew anything about this. It is very interesting. It makes me wonder what other health issue items I am missing out on.

    Good for you writing and taking some action!

  10. Kudo's to them for responding!
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us!
    Have a pretty day!

  11. Wow! Thanks so much for sharing with us! I wonder what this alternative is that they mention?? I try to not use canned food ever. But man, those tomatoes are just so nice to have. Good to know that we may be in the clear. The one company that I will use for canned goods is Eden ORganic since they use no BPA in any of their can linings.
    Thanks for sharing their response!!

  12. Thanks so much to all of you for stopping by and responding! Of all the canned goods out there, I miss the tomatoes the most. Who knows what the alternative is and whether or not it is really safe? We may never know. I am happy that they responded and that they are, at least, being sensitive to our concerns. For the record, General Mills is the only company that I've heard back from. I will continue to try to limit my purchases and make the best choices that I can. It's hard to make sure that everything is completely safe all the time. We just do the best we can and enjoy life, right? This whole issue has made me cook with more fresh and healthy food and that can't be bad. I really appreciate your feedback. Have a great weekend!

  13. Sometimes I feel totally helpless and desperate when it comes to what it goes to our stomach and our body. It is good that ylou got a reply showing that they do try, but there are so many things out there that we still don't know anything about that scares me.

  14. this was a step in the right direction for sure, love Muir Glen as well, very interested to see how this progresses.....

  15. Hi Candace! I was so sad when Muir Glen and Cascadian Farms sold to the General Mills conglomerate. There goes all the stringent regulations for organic I thought...it remains to be seen. For me it was a prompt to do more of my family's food myself.

    So proud of you for voicing your concern to these companies, doing that and not spending your hard earned money on the products that don't fit with your healthy beliefs is the only way to do it. And canning your own tomatoes at home in the summer and fall may be the best alternative, I think! And it's not hard to do, they will taste better then the canned ones on the grocery shelf, I guarantee it! Maybe this year, try doing 6 jars, maybe next year 12, then the year after 24 until you're up to what your family will consume in a winter. I make pizza sauce in smaller containers and salsa, too. Yep, it's a bit of work, but so worth the outcome. Our tomato season is a bit shorter here then some other parts of the country, but there's still lots to be found at the farmer's markets.

    Peace to you, ~Vonnie

  16. Hi Candace, I'm impressed that they sent you a response. I also am concerned with this situation. I went online to find recipes for soups and stocks so that I can make and can them. I use a lot of cream soups and I did find some recipes for these as well, but of course they will not be concentrated like recipes call for. I will still try and find a way to use them. Perhaps you will spend time this summer canning veg as I will! Lol. My youngest daughter has some food allergy that causes her to get sick to her stomach. I always thought it was MSG but lately I'm not sure that is the only thing. Maybe it's the BPA in the cans. How do you know for sure? Hope you can find alternatives for your family that will keep everyone healthy!!


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