Grease-proof food packaging containing ‘forever chemicals’ is no longer being sold: FDA

grease-proof food packaging containing ‘forever chemicals’ is no longer being sold: fda

Grease-proof food packaging containing ‘forever chemicals’ is no longer being sold: FDA

Grease-proof food wrappers being sold in the U.S. will no longer contain toxic “forever chemicals,” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Wednesday.

Jim Jones, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for human foods, said in a written statement that food packaging manufacturers are no longer selling wrappers containing perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

The statement did not address whether restaurants will continue to use already purchased packaging that contains PFAS.

The FDA did not immediately respond to questions from The Hill about this or about how large the existing stockpile is that restaurants may still be going through.

PFAS is the name of a large class of chemicals that resist grease, oil, water and heat, per the FDA. The chemicals have been linked to health effects including certain cancers, weakened immune systems and fertility issues.

They have been used to make waterproof, nonstick, grease-resistant and stain-resistant products including food packaging, pans, raincoats and more.

They have also been found to be pervasive both in waterways and people — including in the blood of 97 percent of Americans.

They are known as “forever chemicals” because in nature they can last for a very long time without breaking down.

Jones touted the announcement that no more packages containing PFAS would be sold as a “‘win’ for public health.”

“The major source of dietary exposure to PFAS from food packaging like fast-food wrappers, microwave popcorn bags, take-out paperboard containers and pet food bags is being eliminated,” Jones said in a written statement.

Testing has identified PFAS in food packaging, including packaging used by major fast food chains.

The agency said that Wednesday’s announcement means manufacturers have fulfilled a voluntary commitment they previously made not to sell wrappers that contain certain types of PFAS.

Melanie Benesh, vice president of government affairs of the Environmental Working Group, a health and environmental advocacy organization, said in a written statement that the action is a “a step forward” but that it also “falls short.”

“The clock is ticking, and until June 2025, PFAS-laden products will continue to line store shelves. It’s time for consumers to demand more than half-measures and stand up against toxic substances in their food,” she said.

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