April 15, 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. 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 … [Read more...]

Studies Show Plastic Replacements May be Risky

New studies from NYU Langone Medical Center have shown that two chemicals used to strengthen plastic wrap, soap, cosmetics, and processed food containers are linked to a risk of high blood pressure and diabetes in children and adolescents. These compounds are "safer" replacements for other harmful chemicals in plastics. The compounds, d-isononyl phthalate (DINP) and di-isodecyl phthalate (DIDP) are replacements for di-2-ethylhexylphlatate, or DEHP, which has similar adverse effects. All are phthalates. These are the first studies to examine potential health risks from DEHP replacements. Lead investigator Dr. Leonardo Trasande, an associate professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine, and population health at NYU Langone, said, "our research adds to the growing concerns that … [Read more...]

New Study Links Phthalate Exposure with Lower IQ

A new study conducted at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health finds that children exposed during pregnancy to elevated levels of phthalates had lower IQ scores. The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, found that those children had an IQ more than six points lower than the average. The two chemicals are di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP). They are found in many consumer products, including plastic food and beverage containers. Phthalates are banned in some children's toys, but the compounds are rarely listed on ingredient labels so they are difficult to avoid. In the study, researchers followed 328 New York City women and their children from low income communities. The women's exposure to four phthalates in their third trimester were … [Read more...]

FDA Lifts Advisory on Products Contaminated with DEHP From Taiwan

The FDA has lifted their advisory on products imported from Taiwan that were contaminated with the plasticizer DEHP. That chemical was illegally added to several food products as a clouding agent to improve emulsification. On June 1, 2011, the FDA Advisory No. 2011-008 recalled some of those products. The government is monitoring and collecting food products to ensure that foods imported from Taiwan into the United States are safe. Lab tests done on food samples were found to be negative for the presence of DEHP, and the FDA has been monitoring unregistered food products. All food establishments must monitor imported foods and collect samples for lab testing. The products that were contaminated were fruit juices, syrups, drinks, and one dietary supplement. DEHP is a phthalate, which … [Read more...]

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