FDA bans 3 chemicals used in food packaging

pizza-940431_640You know the lining that keeps food packaging from taking on grease from food? Well, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council, and now the FDA, those chemicals are harmful to human health. The FDA this week banned 3 chemicals in food packaging it had previously approved.

PFCs, or perchlorate, are in our food and water. In 2008, the agency published results showing that 59 percent of 1,065 food samples had perchlorate, with children between six months and 6 years old having the greatest exposures. Because younger children’s brains are undergoing rapid development they are more at risk for more significant exposures.  PFCs have been linked potential to harm fetal development, male reproductive systems, pre-and-post natal brain development and to cause cancer.

PFCs have been found in pizza boxes, microwave popcorn bags, and sandwich wrappers.

 The FDA is also considering banning seven flavoring chemicals subject to another petition.

Erik Olson, director of the NRDC’s Health program, offered the following statement in response:

“The FDA’s ban is an important first step — but just a first step — toward improving the safety of our food supply. Now it should act on our petition to ban the seven other chemicals we believe – and government agencies such as the toxicology program at the National Institutes of Health have found –cause cancer.”

This ban takes place immediately. Most U.S. producers have stopped making and using the chemical– but this ban does prevent any food made out of the country and shipped to the U.S. from containing these chemicals.

EWG reminds us that these are 3 out of hundreds of chemicals that can cause harm that are still in use today:

“Industrial chemicals that pollute people’s blood clearly have no place in food packaging,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “But it’s taken the FDA more than 10 years to figure that out, and it’s banning only three chemicals that aren’t even made any more.

Of course, parents are left to worry about what the packaging will be replaced with, and if that chemicals is just as harmful.

Ken Cook of EWG feels the same way, saying what we say here at Non-Toxic Kids all the time: “To protect Americans’ health, the FDA and EPA should require that chemicals be proved safe before they are allowed on the marketplace.”

It’s the precautionary principle– and other countries are putting it in place to protect their citizens instead of playing chemical whack a mole. Wait! This chemical is bad. Really, for sure (after YEARS of testing). Now, we’ll use another one. Wait! That one is bad too! (again, after years of testing). Ban this one.

The bottom line? More whole food = less food packaging and better health! What do you think of this new ban?

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