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Environment

FDA Discloses Details Of Food Wrapper Chemicals Deal

by Cheryl Hogue
July 9, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 28

BASF, Clariant, and DuPont have voluntarily stopped selling certain perfluorinated chemicals for use in food wrappers, FDA announced last week. This is the first public disclosure of the deal struck last year between FDA and the companies. The compounds help keep grease from seeping through paper and cardboard products used to hold or wrap food. The five chemicals affected by the action contain eight-carbon chains, which studies indicate can persist in the environment and can have toxic effects on humans and animals. In response to these data, FDA and the companies—which are approved to sell these compounds for this use—came to an agreement to stop distributing food-contact products containing the five chemicals as of Oct. 1, 2011, FDA says. Supplies of the grease-proofing agents and paper containing them “can be used until they run out” because exposures to the affected chemicals during that period will not affect public health, the agency states. FDA plans to survey manufacturers of food-contact products to determine whether they are still using grease-proofing agents with perfluorinated chemicals containing eight-carbon chains.

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