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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why new Del Monte labels but not safer cans?

It seems that The Del Monte Corporation, doing business as Del Monte Foods, has its hands full. According to its own Web site, the San Francisco-based company is one of the United States of America’s largest and best known producers, distributors, and marketers of branded food and pet products for the American retail market, generating about $3.7 billion in net sales in fiscal 2010.  In an article dated 15 June 2013, Packaging Digest confirms that Del Monte is the largest player in the category.

The latest news is that the company has just come out with extravagant new packaging designed to convince a suspecting public how safe, wholesome, and “natural” their canned products are.  Since last year its marketing agents have also been generating a storm of spin along the same lines.

Yet if the Internet is any indication, it seems that these days Del Monte’s worst publicity nightmare centres on the fact that their can liners have been proven among the worst offenders on record for their concentrations of BPA (Bisphenol-A--a hormone-disrupting chemical that leeches into foods and that research has linked to heart disease, diabetes, cancers, obesity, reproductive problems, and other medical horrors.)   Last year, in response to consumer concerns, soup giant Campbell's already announced its plan to make its canned products BPA-free.

Under these circumstances, from a humanitarian standpoint, does it really make sense that Del Monte’s recent massive marketing impetus has focused solely on the appearance of their labels and how the contents are processed, instead of dealing with the potentially dangerous substance of their packaging?

Or am I missing something?

Additionally, four days ago on 13 June 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported that Del Monte Corp. is exploring a sale of the canned-food business that made it a household name, said people familiar with the matter, as the company increasingly focuses on products for dogs and cats.”
In this event, until further notice, you’ll probably want to start keeping a closer eye on the BPA levels in whatever you’re feeding to Fluffy and Fido.