FDA: US to no longer sell food packaging that has PFAS chemicals

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) used in grease-proofing agents used for food packaging will no longer be sold in the United States.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Wednesday that Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) used in grease-proofing agents used for food packaging will no longer be sold in the United States.

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The effort to get rid of food packaging that has PFAS is a voluntary effort that was made with U.S. food manufacturers, according to The Associated Press.

“Grease-proofing substances are applied on paper and paperboard packaging to prevent the leaking of grease and oil, and for water-resistant properties. The substances containing PFAS were applied to fast-food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, take-out paperboard containers, pet food bags, as well as other similar types of packaging,” the FDA said.

The “major source of dietary exposure to PFAS from food packaging … is being eliminated,” Jim Jones, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for human foods said, according to The Washington Post.

“This ‘win’ for public health is the result of FDA research and leadership, combined with cooperation from industry,” said Jones, according to CNN.

PFAS or “forever chemicals” are human-made compounds that can possibly collect in the body over time and can take a while for it to break down, the Post reported. Some PFAS can cause serious health issues like cancer, high blood pressure, endocrine system disruptions and liver function changes.

Part of the reason for the ban is due to safety concerns that arose in 2011, according to CNN.

The FDA believes it will take about 18 months or so after the phase-out to get rid of stocks of products that contain PFAS, CNN reported.

More information about PFAS can be found on the FDA’s website.

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