For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 22, 2016

CONTACT: Pamela Miller, Alaska Community Action on Toxics 907-242-9991 (cell); 907-222-7714 (office)

Alaska Health Advocates Call On Fred Meyer To Ban Toxic BPA in Canned Foods:

Community members and Health Advocates Returned Toxic Canned Foods

to Anchorage Fred Meyer

(Anchorage, Alaska) Concerned community members and local health advocates from Alaska today are joining a national movement to urge major grocery chain Fred Meyer to stop selling canned foods packaged with toxic bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical that has been linked to breast and prostate cancer, infertility, type-2 diabetes, obesity, asthma and attention deficit disorder. They are asking Fred Meyer

[Kroger] to commit to a policy to eliminate BPA and use a safe substitute for the toxic chemical in canned food. Advocates will symbolically return canned foods containing BPA to the store along with a letter to the store manager, demonstrate outside, and distribute flyers to Fred Meyer customers.  This is part of a national “day of action” taking place around the country as part of the Mind the Store campaign.

Canned foods are carrying a hidden toxic hazard,” said Jessi Thornton, Civic Engagement Coordinator with Alaska Community Action on Toxics. “Fred Meyer has the power to change that. We are asking Fred Meyer to adopt a policy banning this unnecessary harmful chemical and using a safe substitute.  Toxic chemicals like BPA have no place in food packaging.”

I shop at Fred Meyers for my family and I want to know that the foods I buy for them are safe,” said Vi Waghiyi, mother of four and Alaska Community Action on Toxics’ Environmental Health and Justice Program Director. Vi will be joined by other parents and health advocates at an event outside the Fred Meyers store. “Fred Meyer can improve our health and transform the marketplace by committing to selling canned foods free of these unnecessary harmful chemicals. If other big food brands can eliminate toxic BPA in canned food, so can Fred Meyer.”

The nation’s biggest grocery chains Kroger and Albertsons have the power and a moral responsibility to get toxic chemicals like BPA out of canned foods,” said Mike Schade, Mind the Store Campaign Director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.  “It’s the right thing to do for our health.”

Today’s event is held in partnership with the national Mind the Store campaign, a project of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. This week’s national “day of action” follows a recent report, “Buyer Beware,” which found toxic BPA in 67% food cans tested nationwide.  BPA was found in the majority of private-label canned goods tested at the two biggest dedicated grocery retailers in the United States: Kroger and Albertsons (Safeway). In private-label cans, 62 percent of the Kroger products sampled (13 out of 21), and 50 percent of the Albertsons products sampled (eight out of 16 from Albertsons, Randalls, Safeway) tested positive for BPA-based epoxy resins. BPA was found in four of the six cans tested from the local Fred Meyer’s store, including cans of chicken broth, green beans, yams, and black beans.

In addition to the letter delivered locally to the store manager at Fred Meyers, the campaign sent letters to the CEO: http://saferchemicals.org/sc/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/KrogerBPALetter5-26-2016.pdf

Other studies have demonstrated the capacity of BPA to migrate into food and then into people, raising concerns about exposures to low, but biologically relevant levels of BPA.  The report also found that retailers and national brands that are phasing out BPA could be replacing it with regrettable substitutes such as PVC and styrene based resins.

Since the report release, more than 70,000 people across the country have signed petitions calling on grocery retailers to ban and safely substitute toxic BPA.  While not all Fred Meyer’s canned foods contains toxic BPA, health advocates are asking Fred Meyer to work with its suppliers to completely phase out this unnecessary dangerous chemical and develop a comprehensive chemicals policy.

The Mind the Store campaign is challenging major U.S. retailers to adopt policies to identify, restrict, and safely substitute BPA and the other Hazardous 100+ chemicals in common consumer products.  Alaska Community Action on Toxics is a non-profit statewide environmental health and justice research and advocacy organization.

 Event Information:

WHAT:          Health advocates call on Fred Meyer grocery stores to adopt a policy to completely eliminate and safely substitute BPA in canned food

WHERE:       Fred Meyer, 1000 E Northern Lights Blvd, Anchorage

WHEN:          Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016. Noon.

WHO:             Alaska Community Action on Toxics and community advocates

VISUALS:     Advocates symbolically returning canned foods laden with BPA in grocery bags that say “Can Toxic BPA!.” holding signs and distributing leaflets to grocery store customers.

For more information about the Alaska event, contact Alaska Community Action on Toxics, 907-222-7714 (Pamela Miller or Jessi Thornton). For information about national activities and the Mind the Store campaign, contact Michele Setteducato at [email protected] or 732-614-3818

 

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