- Del Monte has committed to transitioning all Del Monte fruit and tomato products and nearly 100% of Del Monte brand vegetable products to non-BPA linings, the company announced. The shift will begin in May and progress through October.
- Del Monte has expanded its non-GMO portfolio by finding alternatives to added ingredients for sweeteners or flavorings derived from genetically-modified crops like corn and soybeans. Del Monte's fruits, vegetables, and tomatoes were already non-GMO, and the added ingredients will now also be non-GMO for the majority of Del Monte's portfolio this year.
- Campbell has announced a mid-2017 deadline for its phase-out of packaging with BPA lining, a follow-up to the company's 2012 commitment to find BPA alternatives.
The California EPA just recently decided against requiring BPA to be labeled directly on products per Proposition 65. Instead, retailers must post more general warning signs about BPA at checkout counters. However, backlash from consumers and public health groups could push the agency to eventually follow through with its original plan.
At such a time, manufacturers may have to rethink either their labels or their use of BPA in packaging. Campbell's move as an adopter of BPA alternatives falls in line with its recent action on GMO labeling.
Del Monte's decision to find non-GMO alternatives for its added ingredients demonstrates another route manufacturers could take when abiding by Vermont's mandatory GMO labeling law. Instead of labeling the GM ingredients on products, they reformulate to remove the GM ingredients.
While this strategy could be more costly in the short term, particularly in terms of R&D investments, it could pay off long term. While research shows that GMO labels wouldn't necessarily deter consumers from buying, the most health-conscious consumers will be put off by a GMO label. Brands risk losing loyal long-time customers by exposing that their products contain GMOs.