FDA Urged to Investigate Hazards of Chemical Phthalates in Food Packaging

Senator Chuck Schumer from New York issued a letter to FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on July 30, 2017, calling on the health regulator to launch a study into the consequences of using phthalates in food packaging. [1]

Earlier in July, a study revealed that boxed macaroni and cheese contain phthalates, including Kraft Mac & Cheese. Phthalates are a group of endocrine-disrupting additives in plastics, used to make them soft and flexible.

Phthalates also lurk in fast food packaging, such as burger wrappers, soda cups, and fry cartons. In addition, they are found in beauty and cosmetic products, as well as in other consumer and industrial products.

Source: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Studies have linked phthalates to:

  • Various cancers
  • Human reproduction and developmental problems
  • Damage to the male reproductive system
  • Birth defects
  • Behavioral problems in children
  • Miscarriages
  • Premature birth
  • Respiratory issues in children with bronchial obstruction, such as asthma. [2]

Schumer noted in his letter to Gottlieb that federal regulators have already banned 6 types of phthalates often found in “children’s toys and other child care products, like those to facilitate sleeping, feeding, sucking or teething.” [1]

He went on:

“To think that we have all this data on phthalate chemicals from doctors, scientists, health experts and other industries just sitting around, frozen like a beef patty and begging for the FDA to take it to the next appropriate level of scrutiny is worrisome for the consumer.


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