In an article published on October 29, 2015 by the news provider Environmental Health News, journalist Brian Bienkowski reports on the efforts of retailer Coop Denmark to phase out chemicals of concern (COCs) from products sold in its stores. In May 2015 Coop Denmark removed microwave oven popcorn from its shelves due to the various adverse health effects associated with fluorinated substances contained in the linings of popcorn bags (FPF reported). In the meantime, Coop Denmark found a solution to the problem and presented its new fluorinated-free microwave oven popcorn a week ago, Bienkowski writes. The supplier, Spanish snack company Liven, developed a stronger paper bag made from cellulose that is impermeable to fat without a fluorinated chemical coating. With its new chemical strategy, Coop Denmark aims to phase out 12 groups of chemicals – including bisphenol A (BPA, CAS 80-05-7), fluorinated compounds, phthalates, triclosan (TCS, CAS 3380-34-5), and others – from their products by the end of 2017. “Many people think everything that’s still legal for use means it’s safe. We do not agree,” said Louisa Raith Sørensen, corporate social responsibility consultant at Coop Denmark and speaker at the Food Packaging Forum’s 2015 workshop. In order to protect its customers, Coop Denmark wants to tackle COCs not yet regulated instead of waiting for regulation to catch up with scientific evidence. In addition, its progressive business strategy gives Coop Denmark commercial advantages over competitors if more and more COCs are banned at national and international level, Bienkowski explains. “We’re very happy to see a business take on this responsibility, which is really what the law says it should do— ensure food contact materials do not pose a risk to human health,” said Xenia Trier from the National Food Institute at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in support of Coop Denmark’s efforts.

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Brian Bienkowski (October 29, 2015). “What’s poppin’ in Denmark? Popcorn with safer packaging.Environmental Health News