Issue Date: November 28, 2016
FDA prohibits outdated food wrapper chemicals
Two grease-repelling perfluorinated chemicals that were formerly used in paper-based food packaging are no longer allowed in the U.S. in such products, under a Nov. 22 regulation from FDA. The two chemicals, once used in microwave popcorn bags, pizza boxes, and fast-food wrappers, are no longer made or used in the U.S., says 3M. The company claims to have been the only producer and user of the substances in the country. FDA’s action is aimed at stopping companies from using the two chemicals in food packaging in the future, and makes it illegal to import such products into the U.S. The agency’s decision to ban the two chemicals was not based on safety considerations. Rather, it rested solely on the fact that they are no longer used. Earlier this year, FDA banned three other perfluorinated chemicals from such uses, claiming “there is no longer a reasonable certainty of no harm from the food-contact use” of the substances. Environmental and public health groups claim perfluorinated chemicals are linked to cancer and birth defects.
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