CFA Position Statements

Cans | 5 Canned Foods to Always Keep On Hand

Bisphenol A

The membership of the Canned Food Alliance (CFA), comprised of steelmakers, can manufacturers, food processors and affiliate members, is dedicated to providing safe, affordable and nutritious products for consumers.  Our members always will put the safety of consumers first as we meet or exceed all applicable safety standards.

The use of Bisphenol A (BPA) in the protective linings of some metal food containers and a variety of other consumer products is the result of more than 60 years of research to develop the safest and most effective food can linings.  Linings of canned foods serve an important role, creating a barrier between the metal and the food contained inside to maintain the safety, quality and nutritional value of these products. BPA is also used in a variety of other consumer products. 

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health are conducting ongoing scientific assessments to ensure the continued safe use of BPA in food packaging. Based on FDA's ongoing safety review of scientific evidence, the available information continues to support the safety of BPA for the currently approved uses in food containers and packaging.  While these studies continue, the canned food industry is developing alternative coatings in response to growing consumer interest.

Trans Fat

The great majority of canned foods do not and have never contained trans fat. Examples of canned foods that do not contain trans fat include canned fruits, vegetables, beans and seafood. As with all health and nutrition matters, it's important to read labels to make sure the food you're buying meets your needs.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

The Canned Food Alliance is a consortium of steelmakers, can manufacturers, food processors and affiliate members dedicated to providing safe, nutritious and affordable food for consumers.  

We understand some Americans are interested in learning more about genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their presence in the food we eat. Our members are committed to sharing information about GMOs and answering customers' questions about their use.

It's important to note that GMO ingredients are considered safe by leading regulatory bodies charged with studying the safety of the food supply.  The U.S Food and Drug Administration, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Academy of Sciences, among others, have reviewed a vast body of science on this matter and have not identified health issues related to GMOs.

GMOs are not new. They have been used for more than 20 years to help grow food using less land, water and often less pesticides, which helps keep canned foods safe, nutritious and affordable.  The vast majority of food - fruits, vegetables, beans, seafood/meat and tomatoes - available in cans are not genetically engineered, with the exception of some papaya, sweet corn and squash.  Some products may contain other ingredients that are genetically modified, such as oils, starches or sweeteners.  

If you have questions about the GMO status of specific products from our members or other companies, we recommend you visit that company's website for more information.   To learn more about GMO ingredients in general, including the environmental, food security and other benefits they offer, we encourage you to visit www.factsaboutgmos.org.

WIC - Women, Infants, and Children

The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) has promoted the health of low-income families for more than 35 years by providing nutrition education, supplemental food and other valuable services. WIC is one of the largest nutrition programs in the United States, reaching approximately 9 million participants every year, and is an important investment in supporting our nation's health.

The USDA released the final rule to revise the WIC food packages in February 2014. The new rule largely reflects recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies in its report, "WIC Food Packages: Time for a Change."

While the final rule mandates that states must offer fresh fruits and vegetables to participants, it is at the discretion of each state whether to offer canned or frozen fruits and vegetables and canned beans. Surprisingly, only 26 state WIC programs allow participants to purchase canned fruits and vegetables with the cash value voucher for fruits and vegetables and only 34 states include canned beans with no restrictions in their WIC food packages for all women and children. 

At a time when Americans need nutritious, convenient and affordable food options most, the Canned Food Alliance (CFA) believes that all women and children participating in WIC deserve access to canned food. Even the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that all forms (canned, fresh, frozen and dried) of fruits, vegetables and beans should be promoted to help Americans meet dietary goals and increase their intake of essential shortfall vitamins and nutrients, such as fiber, potassium, iron, folate and magnesium. WIC participants should be permitted to select the form of food that best meets their lifestyle and family preferences.  

State WIC leaders play a critical role in determining what supplemental food items will be included in state-specific food packages.  The CFA offers information to assist WIC leaders in their efforts to provide moms and kids with healthy and nutritious canned food that meet new WIC food package requirements.

We stand ready to work with you to provide WIC participants with convenient, affordable and nutritious options to help them select healthy foods that best meet their lifestyle and family preferences.

For more information, read our information on WIC or please contact Katie Calligaro at Katie@Mealtime.org.