October 21, 2018

EWG Launches Petition to Remove Propyl Paraben

Environmental Working Group (EWG) has launched a petition to remove propyl paraben, an endocrine disruptor, from the country’s food. This ingredient is in 49 processed foods, including Sara Lee cinnamon rolls, Weight Watchers cakes, Energy Club nuts and chocolate blend, Entenmann’s Coconut Crunch Donuts, Setton Farms’ trail mix, and La Banderita corn tortillas.

FDAPropyl paraben is on EWG’s Dirty Dozen Guide to Food Additives. The FDA has listed propyl paraben as GRAS, or “generally recognized as safe.” But there is evidence that propyl paraben disrupts the endocrine system, which regulates metabolism, sexual function, sleep, reproduction, and mood. A 2010 study at the CDC found that 92.7% of Americans tested had propyl paraben in their urine.

Researchers at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Public Health found that propyl paraben decreased sperm counts in young rats at and below the concentrations the FDA considers safe for human consumption. That was in 2002. Since then, other researchers have confirmed these effects. In fact, a 2013 study at the Harvard School of Public Health found that exposure to the chemical may be associated with diminished fertility.

In 2004, the European Food Safety Authority issued an advisory that the “safe” exposure level for propyl paraben in food is no longer valid. In 2006, propyl paraben was removed from the list of food additives authorized for use in the EU.

You can see the full list of foods that contain this chemical at the EWG site. You can also sign the petition asking the FDA to remove propyl paraben from the food supply.

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