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There's More in That Can of Soda Than You Paid For: Part Two, What The Coca-Cola® Company Is Doing to Protect Consumers

Posted Mar 06 2012 12:00am
Yesterday in Part One of our series on soda, There's More in That Can of Soda Than You Paid For, we discovered that drinking soda from a can can mess with your hormones.  Bisphenol-A (BPA) in the lining of the cans and the sweetener fructose, which is found in many sodas, inappropriately cause the pancreas to release too much of the hormone, insulin which can lead to diabetes.

Today in Part Two we look at what The Coca-Cola® Company is doing to protect consumers.

Unlike the PepsiCo site (where I couldn't find anything), a simple search of BPA on the Coca-Cola website revealed 30 documents about the harmful hormone disruptor BPA.  That's a clue to me that they are, at least, in the BPA conversation as they certainly should be.  Just look at how many of their beverages are consumed in a typical day by 10:25pm.

Although all of these beverages are not being consumed in cans, I wonder just how many are?

The document that I found most interesting from my BPA search on the Coca-Cola site was the Responses to Common Questions Submitted on The Coca-Cola Company Shareowner Forum for the 2011 Annual Shareowner Meeting.  Of specific interest to me were questions #7 and #8
"Question 7: What is the Company doing to address the concerns raised regarding Bisphenol-A (BPA) in can linings? Is there BPA in the Company‟s plastic bottles?
Answer: The safety and quality of our products is of the utmost importance to our Company and has been an enduring obligation for 125 years. Therefore, as with any issue related to the safety of packaging, we are monitoring the research and regulatory developments and engaging with stakeholders concerned about BPA. BPA is used worldwide in packaging for thousands of products, and is the industry standard for the lining of aluminum/steel food and beverage containers. BPA lining material plays a critical role in guarding against contaminants and at the same time extends the shelf life of foods and beverages. 
While we are confident about the safety of our aluminum cans, we are always looking for ways to improve our packaging. We are working closely with several suppliers who are seeking alternatives to can liners containing BPA. Any new material, assuming it has met all necessary safety reviews and regulatory approvals, also would have to meet our safety, quality and functional requirements. 
Our Company will continue to take guidance on this issue from national and international regulatory authorities and to take whatever steps are necessary, based on sound scientific evidence, to ensure that any package technology used for our products is safe for consumers. Today, regulatory agencies in Australia, Canada, Europe, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and the United States affirm the safety of BPA as currently used in our product packaging. 
Our polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottled water and soft drink containers do not contain any BPA.

Question 8: Why is high fructose corn syrup used in Coca-Cola® instead of “real sugar”? 
Answer: High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a sweetener made from corn. It is used to sweeten many foods and beverages sold in the United States and other countries. It has the same number of calories as sugar and is nutritionally equivalent to sugar. Depending on the food in which it is used, HFCS can preserve and enhance the flavor of food. In beverages, HFCS gives a satisfying sensation and helps maintain a consistent sweet flavor. 
Our beverage portfolio includes many different sweeteners, both caloric and non-caloric. HFCS has been widely adopted by U.S. food manufacturers because it offers advantages over granulated sucrose, including supply, stability and ease of handling. Corn is an abundant and reliable crop grown widely across the United States, while sucrose production in the United States is limited. HFCS is more stable than granulated sucrose, particularly in acidic beverages, and because of its liquid form, it is easier to transport, handle, and mix than granulated sucrose. 
All our products we produce and ingredients we use are safe for human consumption and comply with the regulatory requirements of the country in which a product is sold. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved HFCS as a safe ingredient for use in food and beverages. 
Additional information regarding sweeteners used in our products can be found on our website at www.sweeteners.thecoca-colacompany.com. " - Responses to Common Questions Submitted on The Coca-Cola Company Shareowner Forum for the 2011 Annual Shareowner Meeting

What is your first thought?  Mine was, is that kinda good news on #7 and not so good news on #8?  Yea, I think so right?   

Let's look at #7 because I can go off the chart on #8 (GMO's in HFCS, how about stevia for a low-calorie sweetener and what is with the high levels of 4-methylimidazole (4-MI), a known animal carcinogen in your coke and diet coke?) and I really don't want to go there.

You see there are countless (did you see the pic above??) Coca-Cola products being consumed every day around the world.  We cannot stop that.  We don't want to stop that.  Think of all of the people Coke employs around the globe?  That is something we want to support.


We must support Coke in their green efforts like researching and changing their cans to BPA free containers.  Coke® has a big responsibility to consumers worldwide and changing their cans can impact health of people around the world.
In my opinion,  the Coca Cola Company should have already switched to BPA free cans and they have a long way to go to make their line of products something that I would allow my kids to have regularly.  Although my husband is a Coke addict,  I have only allowed my youngest daughter to have a total of a half dozen sodas in her life.  And she only got those cokes because of my acquired use of the finely honed, poor parenting skill of bribery.

Still, the green news that The Coca-Cola Company is starting to get their act together now when it comes to BPA,  is good for consumers any way you slurp it. 



P.S.- Have you heard about The Green PolkaDot Box ! Recently launched with over 12,000 members and backed by the Organic Consumer's Association, you can easily buy NonGMO organics at wholesale pricing online.  It's like a Sam's club but focused on products for green, healthy living!!  You can even shop by dietary restrictions like gluten free, vegan or diabetic.

Sources: Thank you to my fellow Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families fellow Mom Blogger Lori Alper from Groovy Green Livin' for the Google+ she gave today to the Center for Science in the Public Interest article about the carcinogen found in Coke and Diet Coke, Center for Science in the Public InterestThe Coca Cola Company
Photo Sources: LegalJuice.com , NaturallyEngineered.com , Magic.org
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