In an article published on July 25, 2013 in the July/August 2013 issue of the San Francisco Medicine journal, scientists highlight defects in the current food contact regulation and point to the link between food contact materials (FCMs) and disease. The authors Jane Muncke, Managing Director of the Food Packaging Forum (FPF), Miquel Porta, Professor at the Free University Barcelona, Spain, and board member of the FPF, and John Peterson Myers, CEO and Chief Scientist at Environmental Health News, state that FCMs contain a multitude of contaminants and are a serious source of chemical exposure. The authors criticize that many chemicals present in food packaging are unknown to food producers and/or the regulatory agency, and that the U.S. Food and Drug Authority (FDA) lacks a clear policy regarding conflicts of interest in the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) substances determination process. Further, they argue that scientific methods used by regulatory agencies to assess the safety of FCMs are outdated and that current practice exempts some FCMs, such as kitchen utensils and tableware, from a thorough risk assessment. The scientists conclude that in the light of low-dose effects, mixture toxicity and developmental origins of health and disease, exposures arising from food packaging cannot be neglected.
San Francisco Medicine (p.14)