July 14, 2024

FDA Denies Petition on Phthalates in Food Packaging Again

The FDA denied a petition on phthalates in food packaging that requested that the agency reconsider its denial of a citizen petition issued by Earth Justice on May 19, 2022. The original denial was for a petition that Earth Justice filed showing that phthalates, a petrochemical used in food packaging, including packaging used for meat, milk, and spices, is harmful to human health. There is a ban on phthalate use in children’s toys.

FDA Denies Petition on Phthalates in Food Packaging Again

Earth Justice claims that evidence shows phthalates interfere with the human body’s hormone regulated processes, and can cause birth defects, infertility, miscarriage, breast cancer, diabetes, and asthma.

At the time of the original denial, Earth Justice attorney Katherine O’Brien said in a statement, “FDA’s decision recklessly green-lights ongoing contamination of our food with phthalates, putting another generation of children at risk of life-altering harm to their brain development and exacerbating health inequities experienced by Black and Latina women. FDA’s announcement that it will now start reviewing new data on phthalate safety — six years after advocates sounded the alarm — is outrageous and seeks to sidestep FDA’s legal duty to address the current science in proceedings on the existing petitions.”

Earth Justice has not yet responded to this second denial.

Ortho-phthalates are chemicals used to make plastic products. More specifically, the compounds are used to make polyvinyl chlorides and they make the material less brittle and soft.

The FDA concluded that the petition doesn’t provide a basis for modifying the FDA’s response two the original petition. The FDA denied the petition on phthalates based on claims that they have “adequately considered relevant information and views contained in the administrative record when responding to the original citizen petition.”


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