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Concerns arise over chemical in Coke cans


April 21, 2010
By Canadian Pizza

NEWS HIGHLIGHT

Concerns arise over chemical in Coke cans

Coca-Cola shareholders are voting on a proposal to ask the company to respond to public concerns about the safety of Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical used in the epoxy lining of Coke’s canned beverages.

April 21, 2010 – The shareholder proposal was filed by Domini Social Investments, As You Sow, and Trillium Asset Management Corp. This is the first shareholder proposal ever filed solely focusing on BPA.
 
RiskMetrics Group and ProxyGovernance Inc., two of the largest proxy advisory services in the U.S., have recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the resolution. Both groups note that Coke does not sufficiently disclose the steps the company is taking to address shareholder and consumer concerns about the use of BPA in can linings.
 
Scientific studies indicate that BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that mimics estrogen in the body. Numerous animal studies link BPA, even at very low doses, to changes in brain structure, immune system, and male and female reproductive systems changes. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association links BPA exposures in humans to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and liver enzyme abnormalities. Health Canada has warned that BPA can leak into beverages.
 
In response to consumer concerns about the safety of BPA, manufacturers of baby and sports bottles have been eliminating BPA-containing plastics from their product lines. BPA is not used in Coca-Cola's plastic bottles.