Poisonous "Forever Chemicals" Coated Takeaway Food Packaging for Years. Now the FDA Is Phasing Them Out.

  • al: Care2 Team
  • destinatario: U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just made an incredible - and incredibly important - announcement. Companies in the U.S. are going to stop creating and using food packaging products that are laden with "forever chemicals" (or "PFAS").

This is great news for all consumers. Going one step further would be even better: all such products should be explicitly compostable and sustainable.

PFAS are made using a toxic concoction of various chemicals that actually accumulate inside the human body after we are exposed to them. They've been linked to serious health conditions, including cancer, endocrine disruption, internal organ problems, and more.

As David Andrews, a senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group, has said: "These chemicals are unique because of their ability to cause harm at such low levels. They actually stick to our blood, and they tend to accumulate in our bodies." Just as frightening: PFAS also are polluting our landfills, soil, and irrigation and drinking water now, too.

Yet, for years, the packaging that wraps up our burgers, covers our microwave popcorn bags, and even takeout food containers have been covered in these dangerous poisons. A 2022 Consumer Reports investigation found high levels of PFAS in wraps, bags, and trays from major food chains, including McDonald's, Burger King, Cava, Chick-fil-A, and others. Now, that's finally coming to an end.

Companies are voluntarily agreeing to comply with this FDA announcement, and have said PFAS should virtually disappear from the market over the next 18 months. Other parts of the world have started implementing outright bans, with the European Union banning both PFAS and BPA in food packaging in November 2023.

It's not immediately clear what's going to replace PFAS-loaded products on the market. One obvious solution that will promote both human health, the Earth, and our water sources too, is for the entire U.S. to mandate that restaurants utilize only compostable to-go ware. It would help reduce waste and our environmental footprint! Can you imagine what leadership that would demonstrate to the rest of the world?

The U.S. FDA has made a remarkable and important step here. It needs to build on this momentum and require the use of compostable products for single-use food wrappers, bags, and other food packaging! Sign the petition.
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