FDA denies petition on use of chemicals in food packaging

The following is an excerpt from Earthjustice.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today [7/21/23] affirmed its May 2022 decision to allow the ongoing use of phthalates, a class of toxic chemicals, in food packaging and food production equipment.

Health and environmental advocates had asked FDA to reconsider that decision based on mounting scientific evidence that phthalates in food cause serious health harm.

Phthalates are chemicals that hurt people’s hormonal systems and are linked to a range of health harms, including preterm birth, birth defects, infertility, miscarriage, breast cancer, diabetes, and asthma. Phthalates also harm the developing brain, leading to reduced IQ and attention and behavior disorders in children.

Babies and young children are most vulnerable to harm from phthalates and suffer the greatest exposure.

People of color in all age groups, as well as economically insecure people, also face higher risks of serious health problems from exposure to phthalates compared to the general population. Safer substitutes for these chemicals are readily available.

“There is overwhelming evidence that phthalates in our food cause life-altering damage to people’s health, including the health of babies and young children,” said Earthjustice Attorney Katherine O’Brien. “Rather than fulfill its duty to protect public health from this toxic exposure, FDA has wasted years on delay tactics while both the evidence of phthalates’ toxic effects and the human health toll continue to grow.”

In 2016, a coalition of health and environmental advocates petitioned the FDA to ban companies’ use of phthalates in plastic used to package and produce food.

After unlawfully delaying its decision for years while evidence of phthalates’ hazards mounted, FDA denied the petition in May 2022.

On behalf of Alaska Community Action on Toxics, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Food Safety, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Defend Our Health, Environmental Defense Fund, and Learning Disabilities Association of America, Earthjustice formally requested that the agency reconsider its decision denying the petition.

Despite decades of scientific studies linking phthalates to serious and irreversible health harms, FDA has continued to allow the use of phthalates in food packaging and processing materials — including phthalates that were banned years ago from use in children’s products because they are not safe.

Federal law prohibits the use of chemicals in food or food-contact materials unless the scientific evidence before FDA demonstrates they are safe.

The FDA must apply this rule by assessing new chemicals before they enter the market and by reviewing whether chemicals approved years ago are, in fact, safe based on current science. (Continued…)

Links to article here.

Read FDA statement here.

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3 thoughts on “FDA denies petition on use of chemicals in food packaging”

  1. Also, add to the polluting of our food chain the newly released data on corn that’s been modified and causes sterility. Consider all the soft drinks and juices with high fructose corn syrup. Looks like Ted Turner’s wishes for a human population of 500 million might be within reach. It seems apparent by now that the FDA/CDC/WHO are not interested in collective well-being for the 99%. And this means that only “1%” club members are being served by the FDA. Those with access (GYO) to un-polluted food sources, and enough money to avoid homelessness, will be allowed to exist within the next paradigm run by the techno-oligarchs. The rest of the population will remain slaves to A.I. and prospects of becoming cannon fodder. [https://rikitikitavi.substack.com/p/was-it-a-eugenics-program]

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