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Coca-Cola rejects growing calls for BPA disclosure

Coca-Cola is facing mounting pressure on bisphenol A (BPA) after 26 percent of its shareholders called on the company to reveal its plans over the continued use of the chemical in its packaging.

On April 27th Coca-Cola shareholders voted on a resolution at the company’s annual meeting in Atlanta about the use of bisphenol-A (BPA) in beverage can linings – 26 percent supported it. In 2010, the first filing focused solely on BPA was supported by 22 percent of Coca-Cola investors. Shareholder support for this issue has seen an 18 percent increase in the last year.

Muhtar Kent, CEO and chairman, rejected the motion at the AGM, saying the company did not believe there was sufficient scientific evidence to stop using BPA in the epoxy linings of its cans. “If we had any sliver of doubt about the safety of our packaging, we would not continue to use (BPA),” Kent said. “It’s that simple.”

The resolution was introduced by the shareholder advocacy group As You Sow; socially responsible investment firms Domini Social Investments and Trillium Asset Management; and several religious institutional investors.

“Coke has become the industry laggard on BPA and that’s a bad message to send to investors,” says Michael Passoff, senior strategist at As You Sow. “Usually 10 percent is enough to move a company to take action, but Coca-Cola’s refusal to address this issue last year is why it is the only company targeted with a BPA container shareholder resolution again this year. Unlike other major can users who are starting to phase out of BPA, Coca-Cola has shown no evidence that it is actively searching for alternatives.”

At the meeting, Kent said the company was considering alternatives.

Source: Packaging Digest

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