Although it maintains that the bisphenol A (BPA) in its cans is safe, the Campbell Soup Company says it has already switched to alternatives in some packaging as it ends the use of the controversial chemical.


The Camden, NJ-based food giant announced the move in a recent conference call with financial analysts. Craig Owens, Campbell’s senior vice president, chief financial and administrative officer, said the company thinks BPA is safe, but is nevertheless reacting to public concern.

“The trust we’ve earned from our consumers for over 140 years is paramount for us,” Owens said.

The decision was hailed by the Breast Cancer Fund (BCF) as a victory for consumers. But the group called on Campbell’s to disclose its timeline for the phase-out and reveal the alternatives it will use.

Last year, after the BCF tested 12 canned food products popular for children, it announced that the Campbell foods had the four highest levels of BPA. As part of a “Cans Not Cancer” campaign, the group said more than 70,000 letters were sent to Campbell urging the company to stop using BPA in its packaging.

BPA is a chemical, used in the epoxy resin that coats cans to protect against spoilage. The concern is that BPA can leach into the food or beverage.

Campbell’s decision is the latest step in the long-running debate over whether BPA, said to be an endocrine disrupter, is actually harmful in the amounts most people typically encounter.

Although some studies indicate exposure to BPA, even in small amounts, may cause reproductive, neurological and behavioral problems, other studies have shown BPA is safe in the low doses children and adults are exposed to, and that nearly all BPA consumed is rapidly excreted with no evidence of accumulation.

However, consumer confidence in BPA has vanished and Campbell’s joins a long list of companies that have already started to phase out or are planning to eliminate BPA from their packaging.

Owens said Campbell’s replacement plan has been in the works for several years. There will be no added costs to consumers. 

Campbell Soup revenues last year exceeded $7.7 billion with sales to more than 100 million households in the U.S. alone.

  • It’s about time. Why does it always take consumer pressure, boycotts, and other methods to dissuade companies from using harmful chemicals and additives in our food supply?
    Next, should be an all-out assault on BAP-treated electrostatic register tapes, bank receipts, etal.
    I have been a one-women crusade in my area. I have notified every store manager, register clerk, bank clerk, everyone from whom I am given one of these toxic treated receipts about the danger of this poison.

  • Jonathon

    They REALLY need to disclose what exactly the BPA is being replaced with. For all we know, it’s replacement could be even worse than BPA! Either way, no matter how “safe” canned food is, we should not be consuming it. The fact that it’s shelf stable shows that it is a “dead” food, lacking healthful vitamins and active enzymes.
    @Alice: It takes consumer pressure because we are the only ones who actually care about what we are getting exposed to. The companies themselves only care about money. The regulating agencies like FDA & USDA also only care about money, and they get their money from these companies. Don’t for even a moment fool yourself into thinking that “the government” has YOUR best interests(health) in mind.

    • Guest0

      I think you are referring to highly processed foods. “Dead” food would be what I call a steak. “Dead” food doesn’t lack vitamins and enzymes, and neither does all highly processed foods. The problem is the availability of the vitamins and enzymes within the product to our body is next to none in many cases. My grandmother canned food on our farm so that it did not spoil and was available to eat when there was nothing else. BPA was never necessary and always dangerous, and this was an obvious truth to many other countries as they banned it’s use when it was introduced. Other chemicals could be harmful, but many of them are not. This is all backed by science. You are correct about the FDA & USDA and a great portion of the world for that matter.

  • One way to minimize your risk of BPA is to eat foods that are glass packed!

  • Hans Heezen

    Why would consumers trust food&beverage companies and retailers, who ban products, ingredients, additives,which they claim to be safe? If they believe in the safety, should they not vigorously defend it?

  • Eric

    @meredith – remember that most glass packaging use metal closures. In many cases, BPA is present in those metal closures as well.