BPA in Mott’s applesauce containers

Flip over one of Mott’s single-serve applesauce containers and you may find the dreaded #7. I just called Mott’s and they confirmed they do use #7 polycarbonate for some applesauce containers including those in the organic line, but that #1 is also used. #7 of course is polycarbonate, containing bisphenol-a or BPA, a toxic substance known to cause cancer and other serious health problems (see below under “What is Bisphenol A?”.

Mott’s maintains the FDA says #7 is safe, but we know better, don’t we! So, my advice is to either avoid Mott’s (and possibly all single serve applesauce and fruit) or check the bottom each and every time you make a purchase to make sure you are not selecting a #7 container. Sure is frustrating, but hopefully the FDA will come to their senses soon and ban this toxic substance.

I have seen Whole Foods Kids single-serve applesauce in #5 and #7 containers, so it’s an issue apparently not limited to Mott’s. Earth’s Best may also pose the same dilemma.

What is Bisphenol A?
Bisphenol A is a harmful chemical found in polycarbonate plastic which is used to make many popular baby bottles and sippy cups, among other things. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that mimics the action of the human hormone estrogen, which alters our body’s natural pattern. BPA can leach from polycarbonate plastic, usually a hard, clear plastic that is common of many products we use everyday. Effects at even low BPA exposure include prostate cancer, breast cancer, early puberty onset, alterations in gender-specific behavior, decreased sperm count, affects on fertility, behavioral effects including hyperactivity, increased aggressiveness, impaired learning and other changes in behavior, and other problems.

Many companies use this chemical in their packaging including cans, soda cans, and plastic food containers. There is a risk of absorbing this chemical through the use of containing foods and liquids but can also leech into our water systems through landfills.

Many leading experts argue that the use of Bisphenol is safe to the human public but research may begin to further prove otherwise. No level of BPA has been deemed as safe by independent research.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by erin sather on April 21, 2008 at 1:05 pm

    Hi there…..I was very concerned with this post and contacted Mott’s myself about their no sugar added fruitsations applesauce line (as that is what my little man loves!).

    I received an email response and thought I would post it for all to have a look at….It seems to be different information than that posted above, so now I am not sure what to think?

    Here’s the email response:

    April 21, 2008
    Dear Mrs. Sather:

    Thank you for contacting us about Fruitsations. Your
    comments and inquiries are appreciated because they
    provide valuable feedback about our brands.

    At Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, nothing is
    more important than the safety of our consumers. We take
    great care in ensuring that all of our products are
    consistently great tasting, safe for consumption and
    are packaged in containers that meet or exceed all
    government standards.

    The recent analysis and studies on bisphenol A (BPA)
    in plastic containers by the National Toxicology
    Program and Health Canada focused primarily on the risks
    associated with polycarbonate baby bottles and certain
    other #7 plastics. However, it’s important to note that
    the “#7″ designation is carried by a variety of
    containers that do not fall specifically into the other
    categories of plastic.

    Of our products, only one, Mott’s Fruitsations, is
    packaged in a #7 container, but the concerns over BPA are
    not applicable to this product. Since Mott’s
    Fruitsations has no preservatives, it requires innovative,
    robust packaging to maximize shelf life. To that end,
    our packaging engineers developed a container made of #5
    polypropylene; however, as this packaging is
    multilayered, with an inner and outer shell separated by an
    oxygen barrier layer, it carries the “#7,” or “other,”
    designation. It does not contain BPA.

    Cadbury Schweppes has been making great brands that
    people love for more than 200 years. We are proud of our
    family of beverage and confectionery products and are
    committed to providing a wide range of choices for
    all individuals.

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We hope
    that you will continue to purchase and enjoy our
    products.

    Sincerely,

    Consumer Relations

    Any thoughts?

    Reply

  2. Posted by Trisha on April 21, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    Well, I hope they are right!!! When I called, they told me on the phone that it was polycarbonate plastic. Personally, I was not sure because the plastic is flexible — polycarbonate is known for its hard-glass like make-up. I will contact Mott’s again myself. If their reps are giving out bad information, that’s really a shame. They would likely be loosing business for no reason.

    Thanks so much for your comments. It certainly sounds like whoever responded was educated on the topic and hopefully was correct in their response.

    I am following up again myself.

    Trisha

    Reply

  3. Posted by Crystal on April 22, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    I contacted Tree Top with the same question about their single serve applesauce containers and other products, because the ones I bought have a #7. They state they do not use polycarbonate (and thus no BPA) in any of their packaging. They had a similar explanation regarding the oxygen barrier as Mott’s above, which gives me confidence in their response. Here it is:

    Dear Tree Top Customer:

    Thank you for contacting us with your concerns regarding our Tree Top plastic containers.

    Tree Top uses plastic containers made from PETE (symbol 1) and polypropylene (PP symbol 5). Because there is an oxygen barrier, which helps to keep juice fresh, in our bottles, they carry both a “5 compatible” and a “7″ symbol; however, there is no polycarbonate material in them.

    According to the current information, it’s the polycarbonate material (Bisphenol-A) that is leaching from plastic containers, which may or may not be a health hazard. None of our packaging materials contain this type of material.

    Both our juice bottles and apple sauce containers are in compliance with the US and Canadian Food Packaging regulations.

    John Baranowski, Ph.D.
    Manager of Technical Support
    Tree Top, Inc.

    This information is also located on our Tree Top Website under
    Frequently Asked Questions.

    I hope this information has been helpful, please let us know if we can
    be of further assistance.

    Sincerely,

    TREE TOP, INC.

    Sonia G. Nowlin
    Corporate Quality Services / Consumer Affairs

    Reply

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