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FDA Issues ‘Disappointing’ Decision Denying Petition to Ban Phthalates in Food

— The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today affirmed its May 2022 decision to allow the ongoing use of phthalates, a class of toxic chemicals, in food packaging and food production equipment. Health and environmental advocates had asked FDA to reconsider that decision based on mounting scientific evidence that phthalates in food cause serious health harm.

Phthalates are chemicals that hurt people’s hormonal systems and are linked to a range of health harms, including preterm birth, birth defects, infertility, miscarriage, breast cancer, diabetes, and asthma. Phthalates also harm the developing brain, leading to reduced IQ and attention and behavior disorders in children. Babies and young children are most vulnerable to harm from phthalates and suffer the greatest exposure.

“The Center for Environmental Health has long been engaged in the fight to get harmful endocrine disrupting chemicals like phthalates out of food and food packaging,” said Dr. Jimena Diaz Leiva, PhD, Science Director, Center for Environmental Health.  “With its decision the FDA has failed to protect the public by continuing to allow these harmful chemicals in food-contact materials – people deserve the right to eat food free from toxic chemicals.”

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