retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Forbes reports that Green Century Capital Management, described as “an investment advisory firm that administers the Green Century Funds, a family of environmentally responsible mutual funds,” has recognized Hain Celestial, ConAgra and H.J. Heinz for being pro-active about the elimination of bisphenol-A, also known as BPA, from their packaging.

The recognition doesn’t mean that BPA - a compound found in many food containers that some studies suggest can have a negative impact on the health of children who consume food or drink from these containers - has been completely eliminated from their packages. The story notes that it only means that BPA has been eliminated from some of their packaging, while also committing to a concrete timeline for phasing out all the BPA.

Here’s where the story gets interesting, as Forbes reports that “most of the companies Green Century graded were total flunkies. Coca-Cola, Del Monte, Kraft Foods, Unilever, Kroger, Safeway, Supervalu and Wal-Mart all scored F’s.” Whole Foods got the best grade of all retailers - a D+.

“According to Green Century's report: ‘Most of these companies are exploring substitutes for 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 on the issue’.”
KC's View:
I may wish that these companies had been more aggressive in addressing the BPA issue, but I can hardly blame them for not knowing what to do, since the best I can tell, federal regulators have done their level best not to get off the fence on which they’ve been sitting on this issue. (Must get uncomfortable sitting on a fence for so long...)

I am a little confused by the Walmart grade, though, since it was my impression from previous stories that I’d read that Walmart was ahead of the curve on the BPA issue.

I do know this. What I’ve read on this issue - and I make no claim to being exhaustively educated - would be enough to make me worry about giving my kids food and beverages in containers made with BPA.