March 29, 2016 10:29 am

Campbell soup cans to be BPA-free by mid-2017

In this Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, file photo, cans of Campbell's soup are photographed in Washington.

AP Photo/J. David Ake, File

CAMDEN, N.J. – Campbell Soup Co. will stop using the chemical Bisphenol A in its canned products by the middle of next year to reassure consumers worried that the substance may harm their health.

The company says BPA-free cans will be available in the U.S. and Canada by mid-2017.

READ MORE: Campbell Soup says it supports federal standard for GMO labelling in U.S.

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The promise announced Monday is a response to concerns that the commonly used chemical known as BPA raises the risk of cancer, brain damage and hormonal problems.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintains that BPA is safe at the current levels used in food.

After more than 40 years of using the chemical, Campbell still believes that BPA is among the world’s safest packaging options.

READ MORE: Study links plastics chemical BPA to hyperactivity

Nevertheless, the Camden, N.J., company began studying alternatives to BPA in 2012.

After extensive testing, Campbell says all its soups, gravies, Swanson broth and SpaghettiOs pasta are beginning to switch to cans without BPA linings.

About 75 per cent of Campbell’s soups will be sold in non-BPA cans by the end of this year, according to the company.

“Our priority throughout this transition has been, and will continue to be, food safety,” said Mike Mulshine, Campbell’s senior program manager of packaging.

In most instances, Campbell is trying to replace BPA with acrylic and polyester options.

Other manufacturers, including the makers of baby bottles, have been abandoning BPA too.

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