Consumer Advocates and Ohio Citizens Demand Kroger Ban Toxic BPA in Food Packaging
Environmental health advocates rally outside of Kroger Annual Shareholder Meeting and questions Kroger’s CEO
CINCINNATI, OH – Consumer and environmental advocacy organization Ohio Citizen Action, along with Ohio residents, rallied outside of the Kroger annual shareholder meeting today. They called on the grocery chain to commit to a policy to eliminate bisphenol A (BPA), use safe substitutes for the toxic chemical in canned food linings, and adopt comprehensive chemical policies.
Advocates held signs, chanted, and displayed a banner representing the more than 100,000 people who have signed petitions from Ohio and across the country calling on Kroger to eliminate BPA from its supply chain, while the Kroger board and senior management gathered with investors. After the rally, advocates delivered boxes filled with the petition signatures to Kroger’s headquarters.
During the shareholder meeting’s question and answer period with investors, Ohio Citizen Action representative Melissa English made a statement and asked Kroger’s CEO Rodney McMullen, “How is Kroger’s senior management going to respond to the over 100,000 people that have signed these petitions calling on Kroger to eliminate toxic BPA in food packaging and adopt a comprehensive chemicals policy?”
Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen responded to the question at the meeting stating, “BPA is a concern to some customers. And our first priority was to remove it from any products that were used by infants and toddlers, which we have done. We’re also working with suppliers in numerous categories to further reduce it. And so far we’ve been able to reduce it in 370 canned goods products and we will soon start showing items on our label when it’s non-BPA liners. So thank you for the feedback and we continue to make progress and it’s something that’s very important to us.”
“We congratulate Kroger for achieving progress in reducing BPA, but more progress is clearly needed,” said Mike Schade, Mind the Store Campaign Director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. “After all, it’s been five years since Kroger first pledged action on BPA. Kroger customers shouldn’t have to worry whether canned foods may be lined with this unnecessary toxic chemical.”
A recent report,“Buyer Beware” found BPA in 67% of food cans tested nationwide. BPA was found in private-label canned goods tested at the two biggest dedicated grocery retailers in the United States: Kroger and Albertsons (Safeway).
A national “day of action” took place earlier this week, following a recent protest outside of Kroger’s corporate headquarters. In late May, the Mind the Store campaign sent letters to the CEOs of both Kroger and Albertsons calling on the retailers to act:
This also comes after a recent food industry report found more than a third of consumers participating in an annual survey rated chemicals in food as their most important food safety issue.
The Mind the Store campaign is challenging major U.S. retailers to adopt policies to identify, restrict, and safely substitute the Hazardous 100+ chemicals in common consumer products. Over the past year, major retailers such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, Lumber Liquidators, and Macy’s have adopted new policies to restrict toxic chemicals in consumer products in response to the campaign.