FDA says food packaging containing PFAS is no longer being sold in the U.S.

Mocobizscene – The Food and Drug Administration made an announcement on Wednesday that fast-food wrappers and packaging containing “forever chemicals” will no longer be sold in the U.S.

A collective initiative between U.S. food manufacturers has led to the elimination of PFAS, a harmful substance that does not break down and can pose risks to human health, from food contact packaging.

In 2020, the FDA secured agreements from American food manufacturers to gradually eliminate PFAS from wrappers, boxes, and bags that have a coating to prevent liquids like grease and water from seeping through.

Several fast-food companies and manufacturers, including McDonald’s, discontinued the use of wrappers that contained PFAS even before the designated phase-out date, according to the agency.

PFAS have been associated with various health issues, including disruptions in cholesterol levels, liver and immune system functionality, as well as certain types of cancer.

Dr. Sheela Sathyanarayana, a pediatrics professor at the UW School of Medicine in Seattle, who has conducted research on PFAS chemicals found in breast milk and other sources, praised the removal of these chemicals from packaging as a significant and positive development. This action represents a significant step in the right direction.

The FDA stated that by removing the packaging from the U.S. market, it effectively eliminates “the main source of dietary exposure” from specific food contact uses. However, Sathyanarayana emphasized that there are still “numerous sources of PFAS in our environment.”

Drinking water plays a crucial role, according to Sathyanarayana. If consumers are worried about the levels of PFAS, they can consult the maps provided by the Environmental Protection Agency to determine if their water is affected. Additionally, they can acquire filters to effectively remove these harmful chemicals.

According to the expert, PFAS can also build up in meat and dairy products. Therefore, she suggests reducing the consumption of these foods. Additionally, she advises avoiding indoor cleaning solvents or products that contain water-resistant chemicals. It is also recommended to remove shoes before entering the house to prevent PFAS from being tracked in. Lastly, she emphasizes the importance of washing hands before eating or handling food.

“We all have to face it,” she remarked.

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MBS Staff
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