Mothers Trump Regulators as Campbell Dumps Chemical
By Jack Kaskey - Mar 30, 2012 10:45 AM ET
Campbell (CPB)’s soup and Chef Boyardee pasta are banned from Lori Popkewitz Alper’s pantry in Bedford, Massachusetts, because the mother of three says her family may be harmed by the chemical that lines the metal containers.
Alper is part of the growing opposition among consumers to bisphenol A, also known as BPA, which the National Institutes of Health says may affect the development of young and unborn children. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which since the 1960s has said BPA is safe, must reassess by March 31 whether the chemical should be forbidden in food and beverage packaging.
An immediate ban would hurt the $60 billion can industry, cutting profits at can makers Silgan Holdings Inc. (SLGN), Ball Corp. (BLL) and Crown Holdings Inc. (CCK), said Ghansham Panjabi, a Roseland, New Jersey-based packaging-industry analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co. Campbell Soup Co. and HJ Heinz Co. (HNZ) aren’t waiting for regulators to act and are taking steps to ditch the compound.
“In investment terms, it’s all about what the consumer thinks,” Alexia Howard, a New York-based analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, said in an interview. “Over time, we will see a decline in the use of cans.”