Pet Food Ingredients

Which Pet Foods have BPA free cans?

BPA or Bisphenol A is a hot topic these days with health conscious consumers and petsumers.  Pet owners, concerned about the risks associated with BPA are contacting their pet food companies asking if canned pet foods contain the chemical.  However, many Pet Food answers to the BPA questions seem to be as varied as pet food itself.  Which pet food companies are using BPA lined cans and which are not…you judge by their responses and the available information.

The studies proving the risks of BPA (Bisphenol A or BADGE) have been piling up over recent years.   Concerned pet owners struggling to find safe canned foods for their dog or cat continue to question their pet food company.

Nona is a cat lover extremely concerned with BPA linings in canned cat food.  She wrote Evangers Pet Foods and was told the following…
I subscribe to Petsumer Reports online and they are reporting that your cans contain a BPA lining. Is this true?

Veterinary researchers have found a link between BPA in cat food cans and hyperthyroidism in cats and BPA is regulated by the European Union.

I would love to purchase some of your products, but I don’t feed any dry food to my cats and I won’t purchase any canned food that is contaminated by BPA.

Thank you.

Nona W

The next day Nona received the following response from Evangers Pet Food…
Greetings Nona,
Evanger’s contacted our can supplier who assured us that our cans are indeed BPA free.
I hope this helps you during your search for a quality canned food for your cats.

All the best,
-Chelsea Sher

That’s when Nona emailed me asking if what Evangers was telling her was true and perhaps Petsumer wasn’t aware of the BPA free cans used by Evangers.  So…I called them.  This was our conversation…

Do your canned pet foods contain a BPA lining?
Are you sure…I thought only the small cans of pet food are available without a BPA lining?
Uh, yes.
So, your smaller cans are BPA free but your larger cans do indeed have a BPA lining, is this correct?
Uh, yes.

When I emailed Nona about my conversation with Evangers, she was more than a little perplexed at the conflicting answers.  So, she wrote them again…

A friend of mine called Evangers and someone at your company admitted that some of Evangers cans are lined with BPA.

If Evangers is being dishonest in your responses regarding this question, I certainly won’t be able to trust the other ingredients in your pet food.

Which of your cans contain BPA (aka BADGE, Bisphenol-A) and which don’t?

Will someone please be honest?

Nona W

And here is their response…

Greetings Nona,
Until recently the cans that were BPA free were our 5.5 and 6 oz cans.  However, we recently switched our 13 oz cans to a BPA free can as well.  Therefore, your friend may have spoken with us before or during the time of our transition, in which case he or she received accurate information.
We certainly hope this answers your questions.  Please feel free to contact me again if you have any other questions.

-Chelsea Sher

So, what’s going on here?  Is this customer service rep at Evangers hopelessly confused?

Another phone call (from me) to Evangers went as follows…

Do your canned foods contain a BPA lining?
Only the small cans; the 5 ounce and 6 ounce cans are BPA free.  There are no options for pet food companies with the large cans; we can’t find BPA free cans.  The large cans do have the lowest amount of BPA possible.

This was an honest and clear answer (unlike previous replies).

As I’ve been told by numerous pet food companies…’there are no options for pet food companies with the large cans’; this is/was my understanding.  But…

Then I learned about Eden Foods, known as the pioneer of BPA free cans.  In a July 2009 article, Eden Foods told they began a mission in 1997 to learn if their foods (people foods) were packaged in BPA lined cans; president Mike Potter was perplexed no one could tell him if the risk chemical was in his cans…not even the companies he purchased the cans from!

“I made hundreds of phone calls to these three manufacturers,” he said. “Remarkably, I couldn’t find out if it was in the cans I was using or not.”
“The can companies didn’t have to disclose what chemicals they were using as long as they claimed it was a trade secret.”

Turns out…Ball Corporation, the very same company your grandmother used to purchase her ‘canning’ supplies from, found Eden Foods an alternative can lining.  The switch to safer cans cost Eden Foods 14% more; “hundred of thousands of dollars a year for us” – a great deal of money for a small company in a highly competitive business.

So…back to pet food…what are pet food companies telling their customers about their canned food liners?  If one pet food company was providing conflicting information, would others?  Here are responses from numerous pet food companies…

Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul
“Chicken Soup canned food cans do not contain BPA.”

Healthy Pet Net
“We do not use BADGE coatings in any of our canned foods.”  Plus they provided the following in their response…”BADGE (BPA) COATINGS ARE USED IN 90% OF ALL CANS.   This type of lining is considered an epoxy resin which have achieved wide acceptance in protective coatings, including coatings for food and beverage cans, because of their exceptional combination of properties such as toughness, adhesion, and chemical resistance. The most widely used epoxy resins are based on bisphenol A diglycidyl ether (BADGE). BADGE is a major component in all bisphenol A / epichlorohydrin based liquid epoxy resins. It’s entire
chemical nomenclature is Bisphenol-A Diglycidyl ether or 2,2-bis(4-hydroxyphenyl) propane bis(2,3-epoxy-propyl) ether.

OUR CAN LINING CONTAINS BFDGE. This is used in the aluminum 3oz and 5.5 oz cans. Even though some of the letters seem the same, the compound we use, is an entirely different compound from BADGE. BFDGE stands for Bisphenol-FDiGlycidyl ether or bis(hydroxyphenyl)methane bis(2,3-epoxypropyl)ethers. 

The purpose of lining is exactly the same as why you might coat a surface with lacquer-protection.  The purpose with food contact surfaces is to protect the can from the food (to prevent rust, etc) and the food from the can.  There are many properties such as adhesion to the metal and ability to withstand processing and migration of food chemicals (especially acid)
which need to be considered in selection of compounds.  Additionally, properties to prevent sticking of the food to the lacquer on the lid need to be considered. Cans are coated on both sides but the needs are obviously different.”

Merrick Pet Foods
“Thanks for taking the time to e-mail us,  none of our cans contain BPA (Bisphenol A).  They are tin coated steel (inside and outside) with an organic coating over the tin on the inside of the can.”  When questioned about the large cans “Does this include the large cans as well?”  they responded “This includes the large cans as well.”

Natural Balance
“The only Natural Balance canned formula which do not contain BPA are the 3oz and 6oz cans. The dog formulas do contain minimal amounts.”

Del Monte
” Like most in the industry, the metal cans we use for our consumer products are produced by a third-party vendor, and they use protective coatings which contain trace amounts of BPA that fall well within current FDA guidelines.”

Nature’s Logic
“Our 5.5 oz cans do not but there is some BPA in the large 13.2 oz cans. Our canning facility is working on getting those changed over this year to a BPA free lining.”

Evangers Pet Foods
“Our cans are BPA free.  Feel free to contact us if you have any other questions.”  When questioned further, Evangers followed with this response:  “Our 5.5 and 6 oz cans are BPA free.  Our 13 oz cans use a miniscule amount of BPA.  The lining in our 13 oz cans is an approved FDA lining in that the amount of BPA in the can does not interfere with the food in the can.  It is our understanding that can suppliers are working with the FDA to manufacture a larger can that is BPA free for commercial use.”

Weruva Pet Foods
“Our manufacturing partner makes their cans on premises and the raw materials used for the can production are free of BPA.”

Pet Guard Organics Pet Food
“The PetGuard 3oz and 5.5oz canned products are free of BPA/Badge. The coating used in the 12.7 and 14oz steel cans is water based, non toxic food/human grade polymeric/enamel lining.”

Newmans Own Organics Pet Food
“The 12.7oz steel dog food cans and the 3oz beef, beef & liver and liver (from Uruguay) canned cat food contain BPA.  The other varieties of 3oz cat and 5.5oz dog are aluminum cans and bisphenol-A (BPA) free.”

Nature’s Variety Pet Food
“We use BPA in our 13.2 oz cans and not our 5.5 oz cans.”

Blue Buffalo Pet Food
“No, BLUE does not have BPA in their can lining.”

Canidae Pet Foods
“No, the can lining does not contain any BPA nor do any of our products.”
When questioned about large cans…”I’ve been reading about BPA and was told only small cans of pet food are available BPA free. Do your large cans have a BPA lining?”, Canidae responded “No, they do not either.”  

Petropics Pet Food
“Bisphenol A (BPA) is not in the lining of our foods, as we have a no compromise philosophy in all areas, including our cans.”

Drs. Foster & Smith

“Our pet food cans are lined with BPA.  This product produces a container that preserves its contents better and allows easier removal of the food.”

Natura Pet Foods (Innova, Evo, California Naturals)
“BPA is not in our aluminum cans (5.5oz).  Although based on the available research we strongly believe that BPA-containing cans which are used throughout the human and pet food industry are safe, we are also attempting to phase out coatings with BPA in them from our 13.2 ounce steel cans.”

Nutro Pet Food
“No, they do not contain BPA; we’ve even done testing to learn there are not even trace amounts of BPA.”

Purina Pet Food
“None of our canned foods contain BPA; we use an FDA approved lining not formulated with BPA…Polypropylene.”

Iams/Eukanuba Pet Food
“No, none of our cans have a BPA lining.”  When questioned what type of lining they use “Our cans are not lined with anything; they are made from just re-cycled steel.”

Halo Pet Foods
“Our cans do contain BPA in the safe and acceptable level established by the FDA.”

Wellness/Eagle Pack WellPet
“Our 3 oz. and 5.5 oz. canned cat products are free of BPA/BADGE. Some of our other canned cat products and our canned dog products have a small amount of BPA/BADGE in the lining material. The coating used is a water-based, non-toxic, food/ human-grade polymeric/enamel lining.”

Wysong Pet Food
“Our aluminum cans (5.5 oz) are BPA-free. The larger, steel cans (14 oz) do contain BPA, however, we are working with our can supplier to change the lining in the 14 oz cans.”

Fromm Pet Food
“No, our cans do not contain any BPA lining and never have.”

To summarize…Our inquiries found the following companies to provide a prompt first response in agreement with what is commonly believed with pet food…small aluminum cans can be BPA free, large steel cans are not BPA free…
Healthy Pet Net (only makes food in small cans)
Natural Balance
Del Monte brands
Nature’s Logic
Pet Guard Organics
Nature’s Variety
Drs. Foster & Smith (openly stated all cans have BPA lining)
Natura – Innova, Evo, California Naturals
Halo (openly stated all cans have safe levels of BPA)
Wellness/Eagle Pack

But…the following companies told us they Do Not use a BPA lined can – small or large…
Chicken Soup
Blue Buffalo

What in the world is going on? reported in December 2008 that only two U.S. companies confirm to use BPA free cans; Eden Foods and Henry & Lisa’s Natural Seafood.  It has to be noted that this article was from a citizen journalist, not Mike Adams of Natural News.  This doesn’t mean this particular citizen journalist was any less informed than any other journalist, we just don’t know.  No credentials were provided.

I am NOT saying the above list of pet food companies are misleading consumers or falsely stating they are using BPA free cans…I am saying that if I were them, I’d certainly be utilizing the growing public awareness and concern of BPA as a marketing tool for my BPA free cans.

Not much luck with trying to discover more information about pet food cans…Numerous calls to trade associations representing the companies which manufacture can liners went unanswered or unresolved (you need to speak with XXX,…no, you need to speak with XXX…and so on).  Numerous calls and emails to various pet food canning companies (Menu Foods, Simmons Pet, American Nutrition) went unanswered.

However, Scott McCarty of Ball Corporation (one of the leading can manufacturers in the world) was quick to respond to my questions.  He provided the following information…

“Almost all aluminum and steel beverage and food cans use epoxy coatings inside cans as a barrier between the metal and the products in the can. Epoxy coatings may contain BPA.  Scientific evidence evaluated by regulatory agencies in the United States, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand has consistently shown these coatings to be safe, and regulatory agencies have stated that human exposure to BPA from epoxy can coatings is well below safe exposure limits set by government bodies worldwide.  
Even so, Ball Corporation recognizes that significant interest exists in non-epoxy based coatings. We are committed to responding to our customers’ needs and will offer cans with a non-epoxy based coating when it becomes commercially available.  Ball has been proactively working with coatings suppliers and our customers to evaluate non-epoxy based coatings. Early results from ongoing test packs that began in mid-2008 have been mixed.
Currently there is not a viable alternative to epoxy coatings that meets the existing requirements of all products packaged in cans. There are limited alternatives for certain, nonaggressive products. Those alternatives pose performance, shelf life, environmental or supply availability challenges.  The coating used by Eden is a non-epoxy coating that has been around for many years. It is only suitable for use with nonaggressive products and may have shelf life, availability and cost considerations. I don’t know what coatings are used in all pet food cans; that would depend on customer requirements.”

Are you as confused as I am?

So, what’s the ‘truth’ about pet food can liners?  Could it be that the short list of stated BPA free pet food companies utilizes BPA free cans unknown to other pet food companies and many/most human food canners?  Or…could the Customer Service Reps of the above pet food companies stating they utilize BPA free cans be confused or ill informed?

I wish I could tell you.  This experience has left me even more confused and dismayed about the Pet Food Industry.  Until someone wins the lottery willing to support testing of all canned pet foods, we simply don’t know anything for certain (just give me those winning numbers…I’ll be testing for many things in pet food!).

If you are wishing to feed your pet a canned food from a BPA free can, my best advice is to use foods from the small aluminum cans believed to be to be BPA free.


Wishing you and your pet(s) the best,

Susan Thixton
Pet Food Safety Advocate
Author, Buyer Beware
Co-Author Dinner PAWsible

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January 17, 2010

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19 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Which Pet Foods have BPA free cans?”

  1. jack stewart says:

    Keeko, my cat, loves Trader Joe’s canned cat food. It comes only in small cans. Are they BPA free?

    Sincerely, Jack Stewart

    • NN says:


  2. Calvin says:

    NATURAL VALUE 5.5 OZ. Canned cat foods are labled BPA FREE

  3. Alice T says:

    I think you can tell if a can has BPA by the lining. If it has a white lining it probably contains BPA. I do know that Merrick and Weruva cans do not have the lining, and Weruva says “BPA free” on the lining. Merrick cans are also sturdier than some other brands, so what they say sounds right. Natural Balance has the white lining, which they admit contains BPA. Lotus, which is not on the list, also has the white lining, so I assume that it too has BPA. Sometimes companies will say the can does not contain BPA, which is literally true: it is the can lining, not the can itself that contains BPA.

    • Jeff says:

      Merrick canned food HAS BPA, see the email I just received from them:

      Hello Geoffrey,
      Thank you for taking the time to contact us. All of our “big” cans (13oz +) have a vertical weld joining the metal, and usually have another weld at the top or bottom There is no BPA-free large can available nor a coating that prevents contact with BPA surfaces (welds). All large pet food cans from all manufacturers have BPA in the liner. We use an aluminized enamel coating, called aluminum organisol. This will be the same for all of our cans. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and if you need further assistance, please let us know. Have a wonderful day!


      Stephanie Dehay
      Pet Parent Relations, Merrick Pet Care, Inc.
      Tel: 1-800-664-7387

    • BILLIE says:

      I called Merrick today and they admitted that their large cans contain the BPA lining and that the food is cooked in that can. Taking mine back to petco.

  4. Richard says:

    I bought the grain free canned chicken one time for my rescued cat. It had a strange odor and appearance. I also noticed that it was labeled for dogs and cats? Not sure why it was labeled this because dogs and cats have different dietary needs. My cat ate it, but didn’t really like it. I wont buy anything from this company again.

    I did some of my own research online and found that the company has had a lot of problems.

    I’m now giving my cat Stella and Chewy’s freeze dried raw (he likes it dry, not hydrated) and Nature’s Variety canned food. He’s doing a lot better and is healthy and happy.

  5. Michelle says:

    I am confused. I emailed Merrick yesterday asking about BPA in their dog food cans, and this is the response I got. Now I am very worried about weather or not we were lied to!

    Response By Email (Stephanie Dehay) (12/19/2014 03:52 PM)

    Hello Michelle,

    Thank you for your question today. Our 3 oz and 5.5 oz cans are not made with BPA lining.

    At this time, our larger cans are not available without a coating. BPA is the most reliable type of coating to protect the integrity of the food inside and to prevent rusting at the welds. Please let us know if you have further questions.

    Stephanie DeHay
    Pet Parent Relations, Merrick Pet Care, Inc. ; |

  6. Jo says:

    Here’s what Weruva’s website has to say regarding the issue:

    “Are Weruva’s Cans BPA-Free?

    Weruva has used the same raw materials in its cans today as we did in our first produced cans in 2006. Our manufacturing partner sources the raw materials to make the cans, and then they produce the cans on premises. They utilize a high quality raw material that is fit for use in products for people in the United States and the strict European Union. Upon inquiry in 2007, we were informed that our cans were free of bisphenol-A (BPA).

    In 2008, as BPA was becoming a more popular topic, we sought formal certification from our can supplier that the raw materials were BPA free. In early 2009, we received the following certification from our can supplier: “Materials containing BPA, BPF, BADGE, BFDGE or NOGE (epoxodized novolac resins) are not knowingly added to [the] lacquer, and therefore this can be considered as being epoxy (BPA, BPF, BADGE, BFDGE and NOGE) free.”

    While we have been informed that the above statement remains true as they pertain to our 3.0oz and 5.5oz cans, our manufacturing partner recently has informed us that the supplier of the cans will no longer certify that the cans are BPA free due to the fact that trace amounts of BPA may be present due to other items in the plant that contain BPA.

    In light of increasing awareness of BPA, we can understand the added caution used when making claims, and we accept the information provided by our manufacturer. Please be assured that we will continue to seek the best options for our pets. We hope that this new information helps you, our valued customers, to make accurate and informed decisions.”

  7. Julie says:

    This forum seems to be unaware that the alternatives that are being used in non-PBA products are proving to be just as bad for us. Ugh. Note the following statement from Merrick that was posted above.

    “Thanks for taking the time to e-mail us, none of our cans contain BPA (Bisphenol A). They are tin coated steel (inside and outside) with an organic coating over the tin on the inside of the can.”

    I like Merrick products because I think they are trying to do better, so this isn’t a jab at them, but they said their cans are “coated” with an organic coating. (What is in the organic coating?) We need to be mindful that marketers are confusing the public with words like organic and natural. Arsenic, mercury, feces and urine are all natural.

    • Jessie says:

      Also important to remember that “organic” actually means a substance made of molecules containing carbon and hydrogen atoms bonded together. BPA is an organic molecule, being composed of C, H and O. The chemical industry: “Shoot first and ask questions later”…. Even the BPA substitutes are lab concoctions designed solely for a physical purpose (smoothness, viscosity, ease of hardness, whatever), and always UNTESTED with regard to human (and pet, and aquatic species, and anyone’s) health.

  8. Grace says:

    I just called EVO about their canned cat food and they said there 5.5oz cans are BPA free. They also said the larger ones were discontinued (they had BPA) in them, but there’s still some out there so don’t buy the larger EVO canned cat food because it has BPA in them and their discontinued.

    Another forum said that WILD CALLINGS 5.5oz canned cat food is BPA free. Someone on the forum emailed them, I did not personally.

  9. Mitch says:

    Good article, thanks… I wonder if some / most of these companies with BPA free cans are using BPS instead???

    For those that don’t know, you can google BPA versus BPS… It’s just a substitute, and just as bad or worse…

    ASK your favorite company if they use it…

  10. Jessie says:

    I don’t think any cans are safe, because they’re all lined with something. Stainless steel is not an economic option. BPA substitutes are just as untested as BPA was when it was created by the chemical industry. Back to kibble, eggs and fish oil only? I don’t have time to make my three big dogs’ food! But kibble has all that starch!… Potatoes exacerbate arthritis, and rice has arsenic in it…. What a shame that we have to navigate around the chemical sh*t-storm we’ve created.

  11. Thank you so much for doing the research on this and sharing your findings!

    I have been so worried about this for so long but just don’t have the time to make my cat’s food from scratch.
    Do you know though if the linings with the cans have now been replaced with BPS?


  12. Linda says:

    time to use honest kitchen

  13. sophia says:

    Thankyou most kindly for your research will get on this and call and email all of these companies this week. my little girl just had breast cancer removal. she is on holistic protocol instead of chemo. there is nonsuch thing as organic cat food in boa can i cant find any I’m vegan . if i have to ill make her food I’m going to try Radcat first its organic raw. i have been feeding her merrick duck in small cans and some blue wilderness chicken and trout my othe r little one like th e purina beyond wild salmon. so I’m on this i will report back

    • sophia says:

      im not really replying I’m asking another question. WHO HOLDS THESE COMPANIES RESPONSIBLE? WHO IS THE WATCHDOG? PLEASE answer if anyone knows

  14. ella seneres says:

    I came to this site as my beloved kitty was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism and she will be getting the radioactive isotope, to kill the tumor, ironic I am bed ridden due to contamination with radiation from a test site. Nevertheless she is my sole comfort in my dark days which led me to research how this happened to her, and some people felt its due to PBA. Thank you for compiling this list. I will buy small cans from the companies who sound the most honest. hehehe, I am not much into trusting corporations because my father was a advertiser who served whole countries in Africa; so I am jaded with the crap they dish out and get away with it.

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