Do Coca-Cola cans and bottles contain BPA? | FAQ | Coca-Cola Canada

A man standing in front of an assembly line with Coca-Cola bottles

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used in thousands of materials, including some plastics. We use BPA in the linings of our beverage cans and in other packaging such as metal caps. The linings protect the quality and taste of the beverage inside.

Extensive reviews have been conducted by regulatory agencies not only in Canadabut also Australia, the European Union, Japan, New Zealand and the United States. These organizations include Health Canadaalong with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) and European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).Each agency has determined the trace levels of BPA found in can linings poses no risk to consumers.

Why is BPA in Coke can liners? 

BPA is a chemical used worldwide in making thousands of materials, including some plastics, coatings, and adhesives. Virtually all metal cans used for food and beverage products are lined on the inside with a coating that uses BPA as a starting material. This coating guards against contamination and extends the shelf life of foods and beverages.

BPA is also used in the manufacture of shatter-resistant bottles, medical devices (including dental sealants), sports safety equipment and compact disc covers. It has been used for more than 50 years.

We are aware that a limited number of metal can producers are using an older generation of can lining material as an alternative for some specialty products. Such alternatives do not work for the mass production of aluminum beverage cans, and they do not work for all types of food or beverages.

Are your products safe to consume if theyare in aluminum cans with liners containing BPA?

All of our products, regardless of the type of packaging used, are safe.

Independent scientists have thoroughly reviewed the data and have assured us that our beverage cans pose no public health risk.Ourown scientists also have reviewed the data and are confident about our packaging safety.  In addition, the scientific body of evidence has been reviewed independently by several government regulators throughout the world.  These regulators have repeatedlystated that current levels of exposure to Bisphenol A (BPA) through beverage packaging pose no health risk to the general population, including children.

Aluminum can liners that use BPA are the industry standard and have been used safely for more than 50 years. In fact, they have improved food and beverage safety by providing protection against food-borne diseases.

A number of studies and reviews conducted in 2010 and 2011, including one study lauded by a leading endocrinologist as being "majestically scientific and cautious," support the prevailing evidence that BPA is safe for humans. Learn more about these studies.

Our top priority is to ensure the safety and quality of our products and packaging through rigorous standards that meet or exceed government requirements. If we had any concerns about the safety of our packaging, we would not use it.

Why do you maintain that the levels of BPA found in aluminum Coke cans are safe?

he clear scientific consensus is that there is no risk to the public fromthe miniscule amounts of BPA found in Coca-Cola or other beverage cans.

That consensus is accurately reflected in the opinions expressed by those regulatory agencies whose missions and responsibilities are to protect the public's health.

Regulatory agencies in Canada,Australia, the European Union, Japan, New Zealand and the United States all have conducted extensive reviews and determined that current levels of exposure to BPA through food and beverage packaging do not pose a health risk to the general population. We believe it is reasonable and appropriate to take the lead from these agencies that regulate our business.

In 2010 and 2011, in response to the highly publicized controversy, some scientific and regulatory groups decided to undertake their own reviews of the existing literature.

The German Society of Toxicology reviewed the complete body of research –some 5,000 studies –and concluded that BPA exposure represents no noteworthy risk to the health of the human population.

The Japanese National Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology; the World Health Organization/Food and Agriculture Organization (WHO/FAO); and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) also reviewed existing research in 2010 and came to the same conclusion. Learn more about the Japan,WHO/FAO and EFSA reviews.

EFSA issued a statement in December 2011 reaffirming its position after reviewing a report by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) on BPA. EFSA noted that its risk assessment (which includes a hazard assessment) was based on the question at hand —the safety of BPA from foods –whereas ANSES conducted a hazard assessment only, which included non-dietary exposure to BPA . Read the full EFSA opinion.

In addition, three new studies (described below), including one lauded by a leading endocrinologist as being "majestically scientific and cautious," support the prevailing evidence that BPA is safe for humans.

Are you finding a replacement for liners containing BPA? 

The Coca-Cola Company does not make aluminum cans or epoxy liners –but we are working with a number of packaging suppliers, leading-edge technology companies and research organizations that are developing possible alternatives. Any new packaging would have to meet both regulatory standards for safety and our requirements for safety, quality, taste and performance, so it is important that our chemists, toxicologists and packaging experts work closely with these parties.

While we have been asked numerous times to share more information about these efforts, information about status, timelines, materials and processes being evaluated is proprietary to our suppliers' businesses and to their suppliers, and we are not in a position to divulge it.

While we believe our role in this process is important, the metal packaging industry is highly standardized and we are just one company involved in this process.

If you are convinced liners containing BPA are safe for Coke and other beverage cans, why are you working with your suppliers to look for alternatives?

We are confident that all of our packaging is safe. We also recognize that some of our consumers and shareowners have expressed concerns and initiated campaigns to legislate alternatives to can linings containing BPA. While we do not believe such action would be based on sound science, our continuous improvement efforts in this area will help ensure we are prepared for any eventuality so that we can protect our business and our consumers' and shareowners' interests.

I've read reports that your shareowners have submitted proposals asking you to eliminate BPA from your cans and you have refused to do so. Is that true?

No. The requests from a few of our shareowners, submitted as Shareowner Proposals at our2010 and 2011 Annual Meetings, were to create a report on our efforts at Coca-Cola to find an alternative to can liners with BPA. Our position relative to the production of such a report has been publicly available in our Proxy Statements,which can be accessed on our website.

It is also important to note that about 75 percent of the votes cast by our shareowners for the 2011 Annual Meeting were against the proposal for a report.