Friday, March 9, 2012

Muir Glen's Slightly Veiled Response to Some Questions

Earlier this week a reader asked a question in response to a post from last month ("Update on BPA in Cans of Muir Glen Tomato Products"):
"Do you know what Muir Glen uses to line its BPA-free cans? I'm concerned that what they are using now may be just as unsafe as BPA.

"Eden Foods appears to be forthcoming about what they use in their BPA-free cans:

Similar to the reader, many experts, including Philip Landrigan, the Director of the Children's Environmental Health Center at The Mount Sinai Hospital, are concerned about the safety of the chemicals used to replace BPA.Testing is limited, at best.

To find out more, yesterday I contacted General Mills, which owns Small Planet Foods, the maker of Muir Glen products. Here's part of the response:
"[W]e know that some of our consumers have chosen to avoid BPA, so we had been looking for alternatives. Working with our can suppliers and can manufacturers, Muir Glen was able to develop and test a safe and viable alternative that does not use BPA for our canned tomato products. We began transitioning to those linings with the fall 2010 tomato pack – and we completed that transition with the 2011 tomato pack.

"The new liners are a vinyl based liner. The safety of this can lining has been thoroughly tested. In addition to complying with requirements set forth by the FDA, Small Planet Foods board certified toxicologist has concurred with this assessment."
This response isn't as revealing as Eden's (
I asked for the specifics beyond "vinyl based" but was rebuffed) and anytime a company evokes meeting FDA standards, I get a little wary.

And I am wrong to wonder about the size of the consulting fee the "board certified toxicologist" received from General Mills? Also, the customer service representative would not tell me what "board" "certified" the "toxicologist."

Which brings us to the word of the day: obfuscate.

Have a nice weekend.


Karen said...

So much for feeling like I won the golden ticket when seeing the golden liner in the Muir Glen cans! I'll go back to purchasing tomatoes sold in glass cans. Thanks for looking into this!

Karen said...

whoops - meant to say glass jars, not glass cans!

Anonymous said...

What about the Red Gold label? They have the gold colored liner as well and have for several years? Not sure how widely they distribute, They are manufacture in Indiana, I believe, and that's where I buy them.