In an article published on March 15, 2018 by regulatory news provider Chemical Watch, editor Kelly Franklin informed about the outcomes of the public consultation held on the draft work plan for 2018-2020 presented by the U.S. state of California’s Safer Consumer Products (SCP) program overseen by the state’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). The mission of the SCP program is “to advance the design, development, and use of products that are chemically safer for people and the environment.” In the 2018-2020 draft work plan, the food contact materials (FCMs) category was newly added to the five product categories carried over from the 2015-2017 period. The chemicals to be assessed include, for example, some bisphenols and phthalates, as well as styrene and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs).
Several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have applauded the SCP’s plans to look at FCMs, since, “given the universality of packaged food in the American diet and the waste stream, chemicals leaching from wrappings and containers pose a widespread threat.” The NGOs urged the SCP to regard chemicals in food packaging “as a single problem,” and to address “multiple types of substances and chemical classes that may harm human and/or environmental health, regardless of specific product function.”
Industry groups, on the contrary, expressed concerns about “the breadth of product categories” and “the inclusion of full classes of chemicals” among those to be assessed. Further, industry argued that looking at food packaging “exceeds DTSC’s legal authority,” because these products are already regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and DTSC’s statute requires it not to “duplicate or adopt conflicting regulations” where such have already been issued by another authority.
Kelly Franklin (March 16, 2018). “NGOs seek ‘comprehensive’ approach to FCMs in California.” Chemical Watch
Safer Consumer Products (February 2018). “Draft three year priority product work plan (2018-2020).” (pdf)