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December 08, 2011


S. Clark

This is brilliant and so correct.

I just heard that all aseptic containers (boxes of soy milk, chicken broth, etc.) contain BPA.

And I've noticed that the canned foods labeled "BPA Free!" still contain some sort of plastic liner (you see it when you take the lid off).

It's almost like we have to resort to cooking our own food in order to be sure of what's in it. Even then, is it GMO, pesticide laden or otherwise bad for us?

The good news is I'm losing weight!


I love this!


I'm sure it could've been more brilliant if I wasn't so full to the gills with BPA, S. Clark, but thanks. And not those boxes, too! What am I going to do?!

Thank you, sonyala. Please do pass it on in any form -- I have not yet heard back from Denise Morrison or anyone at Campbell's and it'd be lovely if this letter could make the rounds of the internet until someone there deigns to read it and respond.

Susan Baranowsky

Stephany, we can see that you are very passionate about providing your family with healthy and safe food. Campbell's primary consideration, now and always, is the safety of the consumers who purchase our products. Based on the science generated and reviewed by the world’s food safety organizations, we are confident that BPA is safe. Regulators the world over have confirmed this. If we thought BPA was unsafe, we would not use it. We know that many people care deeply about this topic. That’s why we continue to actively review the research on this subject.

Susan Baranowsky
Campbell Soup Company

Stephanie Burgis

Dear Ms. Baranowsky,

I've stopped buying any canned soup because of the BPA issue, and I know I'm not alone in that decision.

Just another voice added to Stephany's.


Susan, thanks so much for reading and responding to my letter. I suspect that your company is waiting for the FDA to decide on the use of BPA in March 2012 before making a change. This surprises me, since you say that you are so concerned about the safety of your consumers. It's only a matter of time -- you WILL have to make a change either because the FDA will force you to or consumers like me, who would love to continue using your products, will force you to, by refusing to buy them any more. In the meantime, your reputation as a health-conscious company is being sullied.

I hope your company makes the change before I start trying to grow my own noodles. Because I'm not sure where to begin -- I can't find any seeds.

Susan Kirby-Smith

Ms. Baranowsky,

Could you please provide the names, dates, and supporting institutions of the studies on which the regulators you trust are basing their regulations? Also, could you explain exactly why you do not trust the recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health?

Thanks very much,
Susan Kirby-Smith
Canned Soup Enthusiast


Canadian authorities have declared BPA to be toxic. Maybe the Harvard researchers ate too much canned soup in their freshman years of college to allow their brains to function properly. Add me to the list of grocery shoppers no longer buying canned goods. My long-time family favourite recipe is based on your cream of chicken soup. It's actually a recipe from one of your ads years ago. But it simply has to go. Also, for those of you looking for tomato products in our local NS area, I've been buying the strained tomatoes lately, they come in a glass jar and have no added salt or sugar.


Thanks for that link, P. Yes, Canada is one of the many regulators that recognize that BPA is toxic. I'm surprised Susan Baranowsky does not know this.

Again, the link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2010/10/13/bpa-toxic.html

Once she has read that article, I am sure Susan will rush to Denise (her CEO) to tell her and since they are both so concerned about health and safety, I bet we can expect a massive recall by Monday morning and new safer cans by the end of the week. And, if she does this, I wouldn't be at all surprised if she gets a big Christmas bonus this year as thanks for saving the company -- and our kids!

Thanks so much in advance, Susan.

Harmony Thomas

Dear Ms. Kirby-Smith,

This has been widespread "knowledge" to many of us - for some time now. Further, are you aware of the (mostly) vested interests re:the "scientific research/conclusions" of many/most of these governmental/academic (corporate-funded and driven) entities?? Anymore, it is ludicrous to even ask a person to swallow such fallacy.




I hope you realize that Susan person was just someone trolling. Which means he/she does not have any association with Campbells and was just messing with you. I don't know why the hell you would automatically assume they were legit but I guess that shows how stupid you are.

Susan Baranowsky

Susan, let me start off with apologizing for not answering your question sooner. There is a lot of available information and I wanted to make sure that I provided you with the information that would help answer your questions. BPA has been safely used for decades, and it has been the subject of many scientific studies. However, the issue is not the quantity of studies, but their quality and the scientific value they provide to consumers and the regulators. Numerous experts and regulatory agencies around the globe have conducted thorough reviews of the scientific evidence on BPA; including, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the World Health Organization, the Japanese National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and Health Canada. These assessments have ALL confirmed that food and beverage packaging utilizing BPA is safe. In fact, updated re-assessments by several organizations - including EFSA and Food Standards Australia New Zealand - taking the most current scientific data into consideration, have once again reaffirmed that foods in cans with linings that utilize BPA are safe. Even Health Canada, which made a recent, much-publicized announcement about prohibiting BPA in infant bottles, has confirmed in a recent survey that exposure to BPA from canned food products is very low and poses no health or safety concerns to the general population. The Harvard Study measures the amount of BPA that is ingested when people eat food that comes directly out of a can but does not offer any conclusions on the safety of BPA or what the results mean. I hope this information and the information that can be found on the Health Canada website is helpful http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/packag-emball/bpa/index-eng.php. We are aware that FDA has recently indicated that it is pursuing additional research on BPA. We welcome this new research and will await the outcome of this research and any other pronouncements from FDA.

Tonya Harmon


Apparently, the two studies that the FDA has depended on to ensure that BPA is safe were paid for by the American Chemistry Council, a trade association/lobbying group for manufacturers of BPA makers. Tyle, the lead scientist in these studies claims that the studies were flawed, and that the results DO NOT indicate that BPA is safe for humans. "They simply show no effects to the reproductive system of rats and mice that were exposed to the chemical at low doses, she said."

58 scientists from around the world feel BPA is NOT safe. "The group found that Tyl's studies failed to consider serious dangers posed by BPA. They include effects on behavior and the development of the brain and prostate. Those problems were identified in a National Toxicology Program report published last year."


My father ran plastics manufacturing companies at Dupont for many years, and he claims BPA is unsafe and that the industry is well aware of it. He states that it leaches into our food and refuses to prepare or eat foods that have come into contact with it.


Tonya, thanks for that.

Susan, I appreciate that you're willing to come back and comment again. (And even if you are an articulate troll, as commenter Matt asserts, I'm still pleased. Talking to people who may or may not be real on the internet sure beats talking to myself all the time. As the mother of two small children I'm starved for adult conversation, especially as their minds may very well have been addled by all the BPA they've ingested. Just think, I could be acting out scenes from Shakespeare with Vivi right now instead of typing to you while she sits on the potty singing the Elmo theme song. And Matt, I blame my considerable stupidity on BPA.)

Unfortunately, Susan, I have to disagree with your assertion that bisphenol-A is safe simply because certain government safety regulators have allowed you to use it in the past and continue to do so -- and all the while horrifying evidence that it is in fact dangerous mounts up. Government regulators (especially the FDA) tend to allow food companies to use chemicals until they are definitively proven harmful instead of allowing them to use chemicals only once they have been proven safe for human consumption. Watch Robyn O'Brien talk about this problem during the TED conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rixyrCNVVGA&feature=youtu.be

For those who want links to more information about just how dangerous BPA is (and links to some of the studies that back this claim up) please visit http://www.change.org/petitions/campbells-stop-endangering-kids-health

And here is a disheartening suggestion from Tom Philpott about why the FDA may be dragging its feet on banning BPA in canned foods: lobbying from the chemical companies. http://motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2011/12/fda-bpa-cans

What I don't understand, Susan, is why Campbell's, as a supposedly health-conscious company, would want to ally itself with companies like that. Why aren't you folks at Campbell's using all the resources at your disposal to find a safer way to can foods instead of waiting to be told you HAVE to? If you made some changes NOW, you'd come out of all this with a terrific reputation. Instead, you're busily working away to develop a really awful, terrible reputation. What will you have to say to us at the point when absolutely no one will be able to ignore the vast piles of evidence that have accumulated and claim that BPA is safe? Whoops?

Campbell's is starting to remind me of the cigarette companies, only the cigarette companies haven't tried to claim that smoking is good for you since the 1950s or 60s.


And I just want to highlight some other companies, big ones, that ARE committed to removing BPA from their canned goods. Taken from here: http://planetgreen.discovery.com/food-health/bpa-canned-foods-best-and-worst-brands-out-there.html

"Hain Celestial* (A), whose brands include Health Valley, Earth’s Best, and Westbrae Natural, ConAgra* (A), which owns brands such as Chef Boyardee, Hunt’s and Healthy Choice, and H.J. Heinz* (A) are the highest-scoring companies in this report. Each of these companies has started using BPA-free can linings for certain products, is committed to removing the chemical from all of its packaging products, and has a timeline to achieve this transition."


From here: http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/34406849.html

"Bisphenol A was developed in 1891 as a synthetic estrogen. It came into widespread use in the 1950s when scientists realized it could be used to make polycarbonate plastic and some epoxy resins to line food and beverage cans.

With the advent of plastic products such as dental sealants and baby bottles, the use of bisphenol A has skyrocketed. The chemical is used to make reusable water bottles, CDs, DVDs and eyeglasses. More than 6 billion pounds are produced each year in the United States.

In recent decades, increases in the number of boys born with genital deformities, girls experiencing early puberty and adults with low sperm counts, uterine cysts and infertility prompted some researchers to wonder whether the prevalence of bisphenol A could be interfering with human development and reproduction.

Scientists began looking for a link between bisphenol A and spikes in cancer, obesity and hyperactivity. Others, such as Patricia Hunt, simply stumbled onto it.

Hunt, a scientist at Case Western Reserve University, was investigating the connection between maternal age and Down syndrome in 1998 when all of her laboratory mice, including those not treated in any way, began exhibiting chromosomal abnormalities.

Her investigation revealed that bisphenol A was leaching from the animals' polycarbonate cages, and it was the chemical that had caused the problems.

Ana Soto, a researcher at Tufts University, began noticing that her lab mice treated with bisphenol A were a lot fatter than her other mice."


From here: http://www.jsonline.com/watchdog/watchdogreports/29331224.html

"Chemical makers maintain that their products are safe. They point to government assurances and the millions of dollars they have spent on their own research as proof.

But a growing number of scientists are convinced the chemicals interfere with the body's reproductive, developmental and behavioral systems.

Hundreds of studies have shown that these compounds cause a host of problems in lab animals. They include cancers of the breast, brain and testicles; lowered sperm counts, early puberty, miscarriages and other defects of the reproductive system; diabetes; attention deficit disorder, asthma and autism - all of which have spiked in people in recent decades since many of these chemicals saturated the marketplace.

A Journal Sentinel investigation found that the government has failed to regulate these chemicals, despite repeated promises to do so. The regulatory effort has been marked by wasted time, wasted money and influence from chemical manufacturers.

The newspaper reviewed more than 250 scientific studies written over the past 20 years; examined thousands of pages of regulatory documents and industry correspondence; and interviewed more than 100 scientists, physicians, and industry and government officials.

Among the findings:

• U.S. regulators promised a decade ago to screen more than 15,000 chemicals for their effects on the endocrine system. They've spent tens of millions of dollars on the testing program. As yet, not a single screen has been done.

• Dozens of chemicals the government wants to screen first have already been tested over and over, even while thousands of untested chemicals are waiting to be screened.

• By the time the government gets around to doing the testing, chances are the results will be outdated and inconclusive. The government's proposed tests lack new, more sensitive measures that would identify dangerous chemicals that older screens could miss.

• As the U.S. testing process remains grounded, hundreds of products have been banned in countries around the world. Children's products - including some baby toys and teething rings - outlawed as dangerous by the European Union, Japan and Canada, are available here without warning.

• Lacking any regulation in the U.S., it's impossible for consumers to know which products are made with the dangerous compounds. Many companies don't list chemicals known to disrupt the endocrine system on product labels.

The government's efforts have been "an abject failure, a disaster," said Philip Landrigan, a pediatrician and chairman of the department of community and preventive medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York."

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