Sherwin-Williams’ Strategy to Line Billions of Food Cans: Hire Skeptics (Corrected)

Aug. 30, 2018, 11:31 AM; Updated: Aug. 31, 2018, 4:22 PM

Coatings manufacturer Valspar wanted to develop a new food can lining that didn’t raise health concerns, so it took the unusual step of asking environmental and safety advocacy groups for their advice.

The company shared its information on alternatives, asked advocates to recommend more studies, used scientists they recommended to conduct those studies, and allowed those researchers to independently publish their views—all in a nod to a changing marketplace with many voices on product safety.

Valspar, bought by Sherwin-Williams in 2017, also hired skeptical scientists long critical of the chemical the company was trying to replace. The skeptics...

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