Report on Bisphenol A in Thermal Receipt Paper- Panera Bread Company (2012)

Outcome: Successfully Withdrawn

The value of Panera Bread Company’s brand is based in part on customer trust. We believe that if the company’s cash register thermal receipt paper contain bisphenol A (BPA), a potentially hazardous chemical, that trust could be put at risk.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated “Some receipts made of thermal paper may now contain as much as 10 mg. of BPA, which could pose a risk for human exposure, as well as account for substantial environmental releases of BPA.”
BPA reportedly mimics estrogen in the body; a number of animal studies link BPA, even at very low doses, to potential changes in brain structure, immune system, male and female reproductive systems, and to tissue associated with increased rates of breast cancer. Experts are particularly concerned about exposure to BPA by the very young and pregnant women.

Proponents believe the use of BPA may also pose regulatory risk. The Connecticut legislature passed the first state law barring the manufacture, distribution or sale of thermal receipt paper containing BPA. More than 20 states and multiple federal bills have introduced legislation to ban or limit the use of BPA in food and beverage containers.
Currently, the EPA is engaged in an alternatives assessment for BPA in thermal receipt paper with the goal of helping to reduce environmental releases of and subsequent exposures to BPA.
Companies, including Yum! Brands, Whole Foods and Chipotle reportedly use BPA-free thermal receipt paper. And a 2010 report by the Environmental Working Group found Bank of America, Target and Starbucks were using BPA-free thermal receipt paper
RESOLVED: Shareholders request the Board of Directors publish a report by September 1, 2012, at reasonable cost and excluding confidential and proprietary information, on how the company is responding to the public policy challenges associated with BPA.
Supporting statement: We believe the report should include a summary of what the company is doing to maintain public trust on this issue, its role in adopting or encouraging development of safer alternatives to BPA in thermal receipt paper, and any risks to the company’s reputation created by the continued use of thermal receipt paper containing BPA.

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