According to a report by the non-governmental organization Environmental Working Group published February 27, 2014, azodicarbonamide (ADCA; CAS 123-77-3) was detected in nearly 500 foods sold in US grocery stores and labeled as “healthy”. Foods included breads, bagels and tortillas marketed by a large variety of well-known brands. The Environmental Working Group demanded that manufacturers immediately cease the use of the chemical in food. In the U.S., ADCA is fully authorized for use in food and considered safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) at levels of 45 ppm in flour. In food contact materials, ADCA is used as a blowing agent in polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyacrylonitrile and polyurethanes. On February 9, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer from the Democrats called upon the FDA to ban ADCA from foods. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) the food additive “can induce asthma, other respiratory symptoms and skin sensitization” in occupational exposure. In Europe, ADCA is banned from food and plastic food contact materials and was recommended for inclusion on Annex XIV of REACH on February 6, 2014 (previously reported on by the FPF). Nevertheless, the chemical was recently detected in bread sold at subway in Europe (previously reported on by the FPF).

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David Andrews (February 27, 2014). “Nearly 500 ways to make a yoga mat sandwich.” Environmental Working Group.

Carey Gillam (February 27, 2014). “Hundreds of foods in U.S. contain ‘ADA’ plastics chemical: report.Reuters.

FPF article “3 FCM substances for REACH authorization list

FPF article “US: Calls to ban the use of azodicarbonamide