On July 26, 2021, Representative Jan Schakowsky announced the introduction of the Food Chemical Reassessment Act of 2021 to the United States House of Representatives. The act would require the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to create a new Office of Food Safety Reassessment. The new FDA office would be responsible for assessing the safety of certain chemicals currently allowed on the market under the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) rule (FPF reported, also here and here) at least every three years.
The ten chemicals and groups of chemicals specifically listed in the bill for regular reassessment are (i) per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), (ii) ortho-phthalates, (iii) tert-butylhydroquinone (CAS 1948-33-0), (iv) titanium dioxide (TiO2, CAS 13463-67-7), (v) potassium bromate (CAS 7758-01-2), (vi) perchlorate, (vii) butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA, CAS 25013-16-5), (viii) butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT, CAS 128-37-0), (ix) brominated vegetable oil (BVO, CAS 8016-94-2), and (x) propylparaben (CAS 94-13-3). These substances are all recognized as priority hazardous substances or substances of potential concern according to the Food Packaging Forum’s Food Contact Chemicals database (FCCdb).
The bill also mandates the reestablishment of the Food Advisory Committee, which was terminated in December 2017. The Committee would “advise the Secretary of Health and Human Services on the standards for reassessment, and the process and methods necessary to complete the work of the office.” The Food Chemical Reassessment Act is supported by several groups including Environmental Working Group, Environmental Defense Fund, Consumer Reports, and Center for Science in the Public Interest. The bill must now undergo review and approval by the House and then later also be approved by the US Senate before it could be passed onto the nation’s President for signing into law.
Office of Rep. Jan Schakowsky (July 26, 2021). “Schakowsky Introduces Legislation To Ensure Our Food Is Safe.”
Jan Schakowsky (July 26, 2021). “H.R.4694 – To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to establish the Office of Food Safety Reassessment, and for other purposes.” US Congress