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FDA Declines To Ban Chemical In Food Packaging

Food Safety Violations, FDA

The FDA has denied a petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Breast Cancer Fund, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Food Safety, Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Environmental Working Group to ban perchlorate in dry food packaging.

Erik Olson, director of the Health Program at NRDC, said, “This chemical is all over our food supply. FDA has all the evidence it needs that it’s a public health threat. Perchlorate impairs hormone production critical to brain development, so it is especially harmful to fetuses, infants and young kids. This decision ignores the science and the law. It’s an affront to all Americans, who expect that when they buy food, it won’t harm them. We’re looking at our legal options to challenge this bad decision.”

NRDC and Center for Food Safety, on behalf of these health and environmental organizations, sued the FDA in March 2016 to force it to act on the petition, filed in December 2014. The agency had missed a June 2015 deadline to respond to the petition.

The FDA has approved perchlorate for certain specific uses, including as an anti-static agent in plastic packaging for dry foods like beans, rice and flour. A diet study by the FDA, from 2008-12, detected high levels of perchlorate in rice cereal for babies.

FDA’s decision to deny the petition to ban perchlorate can be found here.

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